On August 3rd, SCIP (Andrew, Resi, Jonathan, ShuMing and Dawn) had a special tour at Roger Williams National Memorial in Providence, RI.
Roger Williams NM is not like Saugus Iron Work National Historic Site with all the blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, warehouse; it is not like Boston Harbor Island National Park Area with 32 islands and 2 peninsulas; it is not like the Independence National Historical Park with the Liberty Bell. Roger Williams NM has no antiquity from Roger Williams, even his image. Roger Williams NM is so special that it has nothing visual of Roger Williams, but his IDEA: his idea of religious freedom.
Ranger John McNiff interpreted incredibly on Roger Williams’ IDEA. He first asked us to reflect on a 5-min video about Roger Williams in the Visitor Center. It made us to think what impact had Roger Williams leave for us. Then, John guided us to image the lifestyle and environment of Roger Williams’ time with a map of Rhode Island in 1600s. Roger Williams was a person like us from the history. Then, it came to the best part of our conversation with John McNiff. He connected the story of Roger Williams to Salem Maritime National Historic Site because he lived in Salem before moving to Rhode Island (SCIP Jonathan’s home site); Boston National Historical Park (SCIP Andrew’s home site), and Lowell National Historical Park (SCIP Resi’s home site). These connections made the story of Roger Williams alive, and also connected us with Roger Williams from 1600s.
SCIP learned a valuable lesson on how to share the ideas by connecting people between history and modern.