Although 2020 will go down in United States history as a year burdened by disease and strife, the events of these past months cannot prevent a celebration that’s been 400 years in the making. This fall marks the quadricentennial of the arrival of the Mayflower pilgrims at what would become Plymouth, Massachusetts. In preparation for that celebration the Mayflower II, the 1957 replica of the 17th century ship that brought the now-famous settlers to New England, has returned to Plymouth harbor after spending more than 3 years at our very own Mystic Seaport where it underwent a massive restoration. (Check out Mystic Seaport’s chronicle of the process.) In the stunning photo of Mayflower II’s triumphant return in August the 21st century disappears leaving just the Mayflower and the 17th century shallop Elizabeth Tilley. Thousands gathered along the Cape Cod Canal, in Plymouth harbor and aboard boats to welcome home the beloved vessel. Photograph by Pam Webster-Walsh. Also see NBC Boston’s video coverage.