The Commons in Lexington, Massachusetts is hallowed ground. So is the nearby North Bridge over the Concord River. Those sites saw the first engagements of the American Revolution, sacred soil where 247 years ago today Patriots faced ten-to-one odds against the most powerful military on Earth.
“Here once the embattled farmers stood…”
Today we remember the Battles of Lexington and Concord, “the shot heard ’round the world,” the instructions of Capt. John Parker to his Massachusetts Militia:
“Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon. But if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.“
Stirring words — but “have a war” over what?
British regulars, under the command of Lt. Col. Francis Smith and on orders from Gen. Thomas Gage, had marched through the night to arrive at Lexington by dawn. Their mission: to “seize and destroy” the colonists’ “military stores.”
They came to disarm Patriot forces.
Let’s be clear about that — the spark that set the American Revolution ablaze was government’s attempt to confiscate arms from ordinary citizens. Our country wouldn’t exist but for brave Patriots’ refusal to comply with “gun control.”
“Spirit, that made those heroes dare,
To die, and leave their children free…”
Those “embattled farmers” refused to be disarmed. We owe our Liberty to Patriots who wouldn’t kneel and wouldn’t submit, who chose that day to risk death rather than to be stripped of their birthrights.
They took up arms against tyranny. With no assurance of victory on that day or in the difficult years to come, they rose and resisted and died in defense of their natural rights — for the love of Liberty.
They stood their ground. And they prevailed.
That’s the lesson of April 19th, 1775 — our freedoms are only as strong as our resolve to stand, fight and “dare to die” for them. If America is to survive as a free People, today’s Patriots must stay true to the spirit of Founders and farmers.
“If they mean to have a war, let it begin here.”
Today we remember the moment that gave birth to a nation, and we renew our commitment to “preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth.”
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.