by Ralph Waldo Emerson
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.
The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set today a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.
Patriots’ Day is a state holiday in Massachusetts and Maine, where state, county, and municipal offices are closed. This day commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord, which were fought near Boston in 1775 on the 19th of April. Patriot’s Day is annually held on the third Monday of April.
US Navy Jeep has a nice article here concerning this very New England holiday. In that article the author, Bob Reed, poses the following:
The Declaration of Independence would not be written for more than a year, but the mistreatment of the colonists by the British crown had led them to desperation. Actions like this embody the patriotism and resolve of our early forebears. And they lead one to wonder how Americans of today would react to conditions similar to those of the colonists.
The British Army is not marching on Concord to seize our powder and shot. It is not the British Crown demanding that we pay ever increasing taxes on everything. It is not the British Parliament proposing new laws and restrictions on our freedoms. No, it is Progressive Elements within our own state legislatures and the Federal Government doing these things. And we put them there!
What do we do now America?