The warmth of the flames relieved Father William Kensington from the winter chill, but melted his heart to a puddle of tears. He could do nothing but watch as the steeple of the Old North Church crumbled and fell into the fiery inferno that engulfed the base of the building. He didn’t preach at this church, but he still felt God’s pain like a knife.
Suddenly a small boy pushed past him towards the wall of armed Redcoats between the crowd and the burning wreckage. He held a sword in one hand and a clearly homemade American flag in the other.
“For America!” the boy shouted as he charged at the nearest soldier. He couldn’t have been older than ten, yet here he was, pretending to be a killer.
The Redcoats simply laughed and one knocked the sword away with an easy swat of his bayonet. The boy fell to the ground and his flag dragged through a muddy puddle. The Redcoat picked it up and threw it into the fire. “Stupid boy. There is no America. There never was an America. And there never will be an America.”
“You’re wrong!” The boy cried. “We’re going to beat you.” There was such bitter confidence in his voice it was almost palpable.
“You won’t be doing anything.” The soldier raised his rifle and aimed it at the boy’s chest.
Father Kensington burst from the crowd and slid to the ground before the boy. “Please no! In. God’s name! In King George’s name! He’s only a child!”
“Am not,” the boy grunted.