Experience the American dream with today’s Patriots of the Past interview. I’m your host, John Gillespie.
It’s June 17, 1775. I’m at the Battle of Bunker Hill with Peter Salem.
JG: “Mr. Salem, you are a free man and you were recommended by your commanding officer to receive a medal for your courage and bravery in battle. Why do you fight for America?”
PS: “Mr. Gillespie, my brothers are in chains. I fight for their freedom and the freedom of all men and women. Hopefully, someday we will live in a country where we are all truly free.”
The Peter Salem Wayside sign, at the Boston National Historical Park, reads, “When British cannon roared at dawn on June 17, 1775, the entire countryside awoke. New England militia units received confused information and conflicting orders. Col. John Nixon’s unit ultimately decided to assist their comrades here on this hill, entering the redoubt. Among them marched Peter Salem.
“Born enslaved in Framingham, Massachusetts, Peter Salem fought here alongside his neighbors and former enslavers. Yet, here he lay, armed, in defense of this community as an unknown fate marched closer.”
John and Jan Gillespie are the founders of the Rawhide Boys’ Ranch; they have fostered 351 teenagers and wrote the book Our 351 Sons; they have also assisted numerous churches in developing youth programs and expanding their total church ministries. After running for U.S. Senate, John founded 1776 American Dream, which exists to demonstrate the vision of our founding fathers and help our generation of youth passionately embrace those values.