Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Salem Massachuesetts- September 1
Salem means peace be with you(taken from the word shalom). Salem was not peaceful in the 1690s with the witch hysteria going on. A total of 156 people were accused,and 19 hung(14 women and 5 men). We toured two museums related to that subject today,and I guess we really did not need to do that. The museums were more playing to the drama of it all;whatever historical information they offered,I already knew. More meaningful to me was the memorial garden for the victims. The design incorporates multiple elements of stone and plantings to symbolically represent the social indifference to the persecutions that took place in 1692. Inscribed on the stone threshold entering the garden are the victims protests of innocence. I have a picture of one of those stones posted here. There are also stone benches in the garden,each one has inscribed on it the name of one of the victims and their execution date. What a somber reminder of what social indifference can do! We also toured a pirate museum and learned a lot about the infamous pirates and their ships during the 16th and 17th centuries. It was not an easy life for the pirates on those ships-they either died in storms at sea,killed each other off,or were caught by the law and hung! If they got away with their ill-gotten gain,they had to find places to hide the loot. Consequently to this day some farmer may find some old Spanish coins in his field and get rich quickly. At least that is my whole take on the subject of piracy. We ended our day visiting the House of the Seven Gables. Will cover that tomorrow.