Don't Fire Til you See the Whites of Their Eyes

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by zabelle on December 4, 2008

I think every American has heard this phrase, "Don’t Fire until you see the whites of their eyes. I am not as sure most of them know it was uttered at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Before I write any more I have to tell you, the battle wasn’t fought on Bunker Hill, it was fought on Breed’s Hill. Breeds Hill no longer exists and the monument sits proudly atop Bunker Hill so certainly the name Bunker Hill Monument is correct even if it isn’t where the battle was fought

The United States Park Department presents this film about the first battle of the War of Independence at the Charlestown Navel Yard Visitor Center. It runs every half hour usually on the hour and half hour. When we arrived, we discovered that they had started the film off time to accommodate some visitors since it was a slow day. We didn’t mind and spent some time reading the displays and visiting the gift shop. I was happy to find a ship model for one of my grandsons so it was not time wasted.

This was a very personal experience for me since I have an ancestor who fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill, as the park ranger told me , there are many people who visit here who have ancestors who fought at the battle but I am the first one who had ever mentioned having an ancestor in the British Army. What I learned as I listen to the film was that the King ordered troops sent out of Ireland to reinforce the troops in Boston, that is how my Irish ancestor ended up being sent to the area. I know he was here because he got a land grant in Canada citing his army experience.

What you will see and hear is a film with the addition of vignettes around the walls where the light will shine from time to time. It is one of the best films of its kind that I have ever seen. It was filled with action and drama and also lots of noise. You become a part of all the action and it was a very sensory experience. You sit on benches but if there are only a few people in the theatre, you can sit in the last row, which does have back support.

I learned more about the events leading up to the Battle and the main players in this film than in any history course that I have ever taken. It might be a little too intense for very young children, you also sit in the dark most of the time, which I have to admit made taking notes a bit of a challenge. I highly recommend this film, it was $4.50 well spent.

If you are taking the Beantown Trolley Tour this is stop number 2. If you are driving, they have a parking lot.
Bunker Hill Monument
Monument Square
Charlestown, Massachusetts

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