The Journey to Freedom

The Journey to Freedom

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Last Visit to Valley Forge

This was our last visit to Gettysburg. We have gone with our interns five times to Valley Forge.  We stay overnight at the Freedom Foundation.  We see the same people each time we go and we have become good friends with those we work with.  We mentioned in passing last semester when we were there that this would be our last time to come.  You can imagine our surprise that they remembered that.  Kim who runs the Freedom Foundation always eats with us.  She loves family history work.  One of her biggest dreams is to come to Salt Lake City and to go to the Family History Center.  We have talked about her research.  She told us how much she is going to miss us and gave us four coasters with pictures of things around Valley Forge. I was so surprised that she even remembered.  Then for dinner the cook made us two little strawberry short cake deserts and they put candles in them to express how much our friendship meant to them.

Arch is our tour guide.  He is so good and the interns  and they love him and so do we.  He knows that area like the back of his hand.  He was born and raised in the Valley Forge area and he is currently an American History high school teachers that trains other history teachers in the summer.  He has a passion for his work.  We have always encouraged him to share the spiritual and miraculous events of the Revolutionary War.  He bears a strong testimony to the interns about our need to follow God.  He is not of our faith.  He said if we don't follow God's laws then your ideas or his ideas are just as good and we soon have a society were anything goes.  He is not afraid to tell you that this is the greatest country and God helped establish it.   He drove over to a little gift shop that is by the Washington Episcopal chapel and ordered enough Shoo Fly Pie for our whole group.  This is not free and he paid for everyone to get some.  He told the interns that this was in honor of us.  How much it has meant to him to work with us.  I think some of our students thought that was just part of the tour.  He knew Elder Anthony loved the maps of the area and sent us a couple of Books as a special gift.

Arch also gave us this picture of George Washington and a document on the Revolutionary War.  He invited us to stay with him if we ever came back to the area.

Noah Lewis does a reenactment of Ed Hector, a black revolutionary soldier that should have been given a medal of honor at the battle of Brandywine.  He always points out that it isn't black history but American History. That we should honor those that gave their lives for our country whether they were Iris, Indian, German, black or white. They are all a part of our history.  He always has the kids just laughing so hard one minute and in total honor and respect the next.  He teaches the interns how to do the early dancing of that age and how to firer a cannon. He takes them out to the front  outside to shot a musket rifle in honor of the medal of honor recipients that are represented at the Freedom foundation.  Each state is represented with the names of those that have received the medal of honor from their state. That Medal of Honor grove covers 52 acres.   After he shot his gun in honor he called Elder Anthony and I down in front.  Except Elder Anthony had left to make a phone call so it was just me.  He present me with a little Ned Hector doll  in memory of him.

Then he asked for a speech.  I can't hardly remember what I said it took me by such surprise.  But I told him how much this time had meant to us and that individual like Noah Lewis and those that we had a privilege of working with had changed our lives and our out look on history.  I broke down but what came out must have been okay because our professor today said how much he enjoyed my comments.  Our interns started thinking we were really special.  But most important they saw the impact that people can have on each other and that there are a lot of really good people in the world.

Entrance to the Medal of Honor Grove. 

We were really overwhelmed with the sweet honors we were given by such good people.  We didn't expect that they would even remember we were going never the less honor us in such a nice way.  We didn't know that we had made an impact on their lives but they had on ours for sure.

We also had a nice honor to meet Brother Perry.  He is a member of the church and works on the board of the Freedom Foundation.  He was there in meeting Friday night.  He made time to come over and be with the interns and talk to them.  He is the man that pays for this Valley Forge trip for the BYU interns three times a year.  It is the first time we have been able to meet him.  He was a mission president in Hawaii in the early 1980's.  He is a wonderful man.

Today we went to Philadelphia.  I always enjoy the National Constitute Center, the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and Reading Market.  Elder Anthony couldn't walk much so we didn't do any site seeing but we had fun being with the interns until their free time.  We walked over to the Reading Market and had lunch and went to Beiler's Donuts for a half dozen donuts. They are the best donuts you will ever eat.  They are made by the Quakers right there and they are to die for.

The apple fritters are the best. Elder Anthony likes the Boston Cream.    


  1. Wow! The little Ned Hector doll is so cute! That was really sweet of all of them to honor you guys!

  2. It becomes harder and harder to leave these people you fear you will never see again. Nice honors!