Taking people on walking tours every day I get the opportunity to introduce them to this remarkable city, full of incredible American heritage. Most of the folks I meet come from other parts of the country and other parts of the world. I have shared Philadelphia with people from Jerusalem, Iran, Paris, Russia, Latvia, London, and China. They are often stunned at the amount of history that the city has to offer.
I feel that the city should be doing more to let people know of its value. People are always amazed when I tell them that the Declaration House, the place where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, is only open a couple times a day during the on-season. Our walk down Signer’s Walk always includes explanation of the “missing” plaques and why it is that they are not better taken care of. People ask if they are going to be replaced, and I am forced to say that I doubt it.
What has been as rewarding as taking people from disparate parts of the country on the tours is taking Philadelphians, many of whom had no idea that their city has so much to offer.
And so, I applaud the World Heritage Organization for making Philadelphia the only city selected as a World Heritage City. Hopefully this will attract people not only from all over the world, but Philadelphians as well.