WS>>Celebtrate Patriot's Day

carl william spitzer iv cwsiv_2nd at JUNO.COM
Mon Apr 19 15:50:37 MDT 2004

          By E. James Adkins

          We  don't celebrate the 19th of April anymore.  It  was
     never  celebrated in a big monumental way, but we once  cel-
     ebrated that day.

          "Hardly a man is now alive
          Who remembers that famous day and year."
          -so wrote Longfellow in his poem that begins:
          "Listen my children and you shall hear
          Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,"

          Revere and others went forth on the night of April  18,
     1775  with the alarm, "The redcoats are coming!"  They  rode
     all through the night.

          "It was one by the village clock,
          When he galloped into Lexington."
          "It was two by the village clock
          When he came to the bridge in Concord town."

          Why  was it so immediately important, on the  night  of
     April  18,  1775,  for all of the people to  know  that  the
     "redcoats are coming"?

          It  was  the practice in our colonial period  for  each
     village to have a "common" or "village green" that was  used
     for  public  gatherings.  The most significant  use  of  the
     "common"  was as a mustering point and drill field  for  the
     village militia, "every able bodied man between the ages  of
     16  and 60 years." The militia was trained (as  they  termed
     it, "disciplined" and "well regulated") in the use of  arms,
     here  at the village green. The militia provided  protection
     for  individuals  and property of the  village  against  all
     threats.  A  man would spend some time in the "gaol"  if  he
     missed  a militia call. The militia, each man, was  required
     to keep and bear his own arms. It was common for the militia
     to  maintain  a community armory for the  storage  of  shot,
     powder, flint, additional small arms and any heavy arms that
     it might afford. Individuals could draw from these  supplies
     as needed, as well as acquiring their own private supplies.

          On the night of April 18, 1775, Governor Gage  (British
     Governor  of fortress Boston) ordered British "redcoats"  to
     march to the many surrounding villages, to seize and destroy
     all  stores of munitions and to arrest the country  leaders,
     the "arch-conspiritors."

          British Major Pitcairn led the march into the  country-
     side.  The  prime objective was to still the  voice  of  the
     people,  disarm them and make them more  servile.  Rebellion
     must stop, they said.

          So,  Revere took to horse to give the alarm: "To  arms,
     to arms, the redcoats are coming!"

          Early on the morning of the 19th of April, 1775,  Major
     Pitcairn's  "redcoats" arrived at Lexington and met  Captain
     John  Parker's company of colonial militia drawn-up  on  the
     meeting house green.

          "By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
          Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
          Hence once the embattled farmers stood
          And fired the shot heard round the world."
          -so wrote Emerson in 1837.

          Some  colonials  were  wounded and  some  were  killed.
     Resistance  to the larger British force proved futile.  Pit-
     cairn's return march to Boston became a humiliating rout  as
     our colonial militiamen, Minutemen and individual countrymen
     harassed  the British column from behind stone walls,  rocks
     and trees, every step of the way.

          The  shot heard round the world, the first shot in  our
     fight for independence from King George's slavery, was fired
     to  protect and defend the natural right of men  to  protect
     themselves,  to keep and bear arms for the purpose  of  pre-
     serving liberty. This right to keep and bear arms was  codi-
     fied on the 15th of December 1791 when it became the  Second
     Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of Ameri-

          We  don't celebrate the 19th of April anymore.  Perhaps
     we should.

          "That memory may their deed redeem,
          When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
          Spirit, that made those heros dare
          To die, and leave their children free."
          -Emerson, 1837

          The redcoats are coming!

The best thing to hit the Internet in years - Juno SpeedBand!
Surf the Web up to FIVE TIMES FASTER!
Only $14.95/ month - visit to sign up today!

More information about the Rushtalk mailing list