A MESSAGE FROM THE
General Joseph Warren
Even we transplanted mid-westerners must admit that the Boston/Lexington/Concord area is still very much a hot bed of visionary thinking as well as a remarkable repository of 18th century history. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts was established about 40 years before the famous first Tea Party and the “shot heard round the world” at “the rude bridge” in Concord. It is deeply proud of its role in the Revolution and more particularly of its hero and martyr, Most Worshipful and General Joseph Warren, who was one of the first to fall at the Battle of Bunker Hill. To this day the Joseph Warren medal is awarded to Brothers for exemplary service to Massachusetts Freemasonry.
Eight years ago, The Northern Light featured an article by its then assistant editor, Bro. Alan E. Foulds, 32°, entitled “Masons and the Monument.” Because the article recounts in some detail the history of the Battle of Bunker Hill, the involvement of the Grand Lodge in the renovation and preservation of the monument, as well as the life and tragic death of our valiant Brother, General Joseph Warren, I need not re-teach old lessons; instead, let me relate what happened in Charlestown last April when I visited the area.
For us who are very much concerned with refocusing the vision and affirming the mission of the Masonic fraternity, there is no better way to be inspired than to visit the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston, view Old Ironsides, and focus on the Bunker Hill Monument from the well-worn granite steps of the Joseph Warren Tavern. I asked Ill. Richard B. Burgess, 33°, and Bro. Jerry A. Roach, 32°, to play tourist with me. While at lunch in the tavern, it happened most unexpectedly, that we struck up a conversation with a group of young Masons interested in the Revolutionary War and Freemasonry.
How coincidental it is that what happened during our extended lunch was probably exactly what would have happened in our Colonial and Post-Colonial eras: groups of Masons gathering in taverns to socialize, to exchange ideas about the fraternity, the political scene and, of course, to participate in lodge meetings.
General and Most Worshipful Brother Warren would have been proud to see that his Masonic and Revolutionary War leadership had not been in vain. The tavern named for him was even today witnessing new thinking.
We must encourage the questioning and evaluation of the status quo by our young table mates. The Masonic fraternity needs to guarantee the continual quest for enlightenment and liberty of thought; the watchwords of General Warren.