Story Archives: Ben Franklin and the speckled nation
|Ben Franklin and the speckled nation|
Monday marks what would have been the 305th birthday of this parish's namesake— Benjamin Franklin.
Of all this nation's founding fathers, I have a special affinity for Franklin.
He holds a place in my heart partly because I lived for three years in Philadelphia and often visited his house—now a museum— and used to pass his grave as I walked through the Old City District.
Walking past Franklin's grave at the corner of Arch and Fifth Street always gave me pause. One of the reasons being that it seemed to give no pause to the hordes of bustling Philadelphians that passed it on the sidewalk daily.
It still amazes me how inconspicuous Franklin's grave is, situated just behind the wrought iron fence that surrounds Christ Church Burial Ground.
While walking past one day, I noticed an open man-hole cover at the street intersection with men working underground just a few feet from where Franklin lies.
To a young man from Louisiana with a detached reverence for the Founding Fathers, it all seemed surreal.
With the great legacy they left, many of us often make the mistake of viewing the Founding Fathers as members of a superhuman race instead of men who worked hard to overcome human frailties to accomplish great things.
They never saw themselves as great men.
No Founding Father exemplifies the superhuman-human paradox more than Ben Franklin.
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