Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill, on June 17, 1775.

Today is N.B.A. Finals Game 6, in Boston, on June 17, 2008.

Bunker Hill in Charlestown overlooks Boston Garden.

Coincidence? I think not.

Boston Garden from Bunker Hill Monument

The view of Boston from Bunker Hill is dominated by the Garden. Coincidence?

You remember the Battle of Bunker Hill from history class?

It was the first time the Patriots built a fort, resulting in the first great battle of the American Revolution. It was the one where the Patriots were running low on ammo, so Colonel William Prescott gave the order, “Don’t shoot ’til you see the whites o’ their eyes!

Bunker Hill MonumentAfter they ran out of musket balls, the Patriots resorted to stones, rocks, and fists. It was bloody.

Sounds like an old Celtics game. Or a new Celtics game.

It tells me that to win, coach “Doc” Rivers will be quoting Prescott. The Celtics will need to bang inside, up close and personal, where they can see the whites o’ the Lakers’ eyes.

I grew up around Boston, but had never been to Bunker Hill. In those days, at the height of forced busing (i.e., “desegregation”), black people didn’t really go to Charlestown or Chelsea or “Southie”.

Things are different now. I have kids.

Yesterday, I finally went to Bunker Hill because my kids insisted. They learned about Bunker Hill and Concord and Minutemen and Paul Revere and “the whites ‘o their eyes” from that newly re-released special anniversary edition Schoolhouse Rock DVD.

So I took my 3 boys up inside the 20-story Bunker Hill Monument, went up the 296 stairs, and took that photo (above) of Boston Garden.

One of the National Parks Service rangers there reminded me and my kids that the Continental Congress didn’t declare war via the Declaration of Independence until 13 months after the Battle of Bunker Hill, a clear indication, he said, of their restraint and desire for reconciliation. War was the last and least desirable option.

Meanwhile, remember Schoolhouse Rock? It was that educational musical 3-minute animated short-film series that ran in between cartoons on Saturday morning television some 35 years ago (on ABC). The short that teaches about the American Revolution is “The Shot Heard ‘Round The World”:

In this case, the shots heard will be of the three-point variety and will let the world know that it was the Celtics in six.

(Support the National Parks Service.)