Our own freedom retreat

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Last week, I made a trip to one of my favorite places in Shelby County.

I had lunch at The American Village in Montevallo.

The American Village is located in one of the most peaceful parts of the county, a county which, every day, seems to be shrinking and running out of these peaceful-type places.

But here, in Montevallo, you can hear the wind blow through the trees.

You can hear the birds chirp, and every once in a while, you can hear the children shout and laugh as they become members of George Washington’s Army of the Potomac.

What’s great about The American Village, however, is that it’s not just the peacefulness that’s the draw.

Stepping onto the grounds at The Village means you are stepping back in time to the first days of our country when if you open your heart and you’re very quiet and very lucky, you can hear the first plucks on the strings of liberty, the first notes of freedom echoing from our history.

I always park down by the road, so I can allow that affect to wash over me.

Every time I pass the Liberty Bell replica walking the road to Constitution Hall, I am filled with awe.

It’s an experience that I believe everyone should have, one that we’re fortunate enough to have right here in our county.

And some are taking advantage of it; but I wonder why there are not even more visitors there.

I see senior citizens groups, members of what’s been called &uot;The Greatest Generation.&uot;

And I see school groups &045; hundreds and hundreds of third, fourth and fifth graders traipsing over the grounds.

But I rarely see the &uot;in betweens&uot; &045; people who are my age in their 20s and 30s, and it’s a shame, really.

We are the people who are having or are set to have the greatest impact on the immediate future, and we’re not taking advantage of our history.

Is it any wonder we’re in the shape we are?

I, for one, plan to tell everyone I can think of about the Village and about the lessons it can offer.

I recommend the same for everyone else as well.

The American Village is an incredible experience in liberty, an experience from which we would all benefit.

And we’re fortunate enough to have it right here in our backyards.

What a great country!

Candace Parker is the news editor at the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at mailto:Candace.parker@shelbycountyreporter.com.