Stand your groundCapt. John Parker, Massachusetts Militia
Don’t fire unless fired upon
But if they mean to have a war
let it begin here.
There is a line.
Most Americans choose to stand on one side of that line or the other.
Some of us seek safety, security, comfort, order and certainty. We sacrifice individual liberties, to some degree or even completely, to pursue those illusions.
Others value Liberty above all else. We recognize that safety is a mirage. We’re willing to give up the false promise of security, taking responsibility for it ourselves. We create our own comfort, craft our own certainty and are satisfied with the order that lives within the individual.
And then there are Americans who, curiously, try to stand on that line, hopping madly from one side to the other and back again, whipped by self-interest, convenience or emotion — a tortured dance which is, in truth, not standing at all.
So where, exactly, is that line?
It’s drawn across the northeast corner of the Commons in the village of Lexington, Massachusetts. In nearby Concord, the line divides the Old North Bridge at its highest point.
It’s the Line of the Minutemen.
On one side, literally and figuratively, is America, defended by Patriots who would die for Liberty. On the other side is a culture that America neither resembles nor recognizes.
There is no middle ground.
Today, you and I are being tested. How faithfully are we honoring the courage and sacrifice of those who turned out on the Lexington green and fought at the Old North Bridge?
I wonder — what would they think of us, cowering in our homes under state “orders,” prattling about “positivity”? If they knew that we were quietly obeying government edicts prohibiting peaceable assembly, free speech and bearing arms, would they view that as properly honoring their legacy?
If they saw a People seeking refuge in the illusion of safety, instead of standing up for the Liberty they fought and bled and died to protect, how would they judge us?
If they could see us now, I’m sure they’d react as John Adams did when, in mid-Revolution two years later, he wrote this:
“Posterity! You will never know, how much it cost the present Generation, to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good Use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it.”
Most of my fellow citizens, I’m ashamed to say, are passively watching the unmaking of America, the undoing of everything that Patriots stood for at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775.
And John Adams is repenting in Heaven that he even bothered.
I, for one, will not dishonor those “embattled farmers.” And I know that many of you are committed Patriots willing to stand and speak and fight and sacrifice to preserve what generations of courageous Americans have given to us.