03.30 Wallace Sword Leaves Scotland
Imagine the Declaration of Independence taking a trip over to England.
One of Scotland's national treasures, the five foot sword wielded by William Wallace, Scotland's national symbol of freedom portrayed in the Academy Award-winning film Braveheart, left its homeland for the first time in more than 700 years Wednesday.
The Wallace sword, a double-handed weapon will be the centerpiece of an exhibition at New York's Grand Central Station during Tartan Day celebrations, which begin later this week.
This year marks the 700th anniversary of the execution of Wallace, who led the Scots in their battle to free themselves from English rule and whose story was brought to the screen by Mel Gibson in the 1995 film Braveheart.
"This is a historic moment. It is the first time in 700 years that a relic of this importance has left these shores," said Colin O'Brien, a Scottish official accompanying the sword to the United States.
The six pound weapon will be returned to its home at the National Wallace Monument in Stirling, Scotland, after the celebrations. Wallace's sword was kept at Dumbarton Castle for 600 years. King James IV is said to have paid for it to be given a new hilt in 1505.
Clan Stirling urges all that are able to go and see this relic of Scotland's history do so. It's hard to describe what it's like to see such a powerful symbol, many of our Stirling ancestors came to America and furthered the work William Wallace started 700 years ago in Scotland.
Many of us have had some very emotional experiences in Scotland viewing historical items, The Wallace Sword is one of them. Clan Stirling also wishes to express our sincere thanks to Scotland for allowing the Wallace Sword to come to the USA.