April 16th Patriot’s Day

This is Patriot’s Day! No, it isn’t about the New England Patriots that play football. It is about Patriots that were in New England but instead of winning the Super Bowl, they won America.  The date may be a bit confusing. It’s always celebrated the third Monday of April so though it is supposed to be in honor of the Battle of Lexington and Concord, which came on April 19th, this year it falls on the 16th.

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We are supposed to remember those men, and women, who answered the call of Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride, announcing the British were marching on Lexington and Concord where the rebels kept their powder and weapons. Now there are a few flaws here. Number one, Revere didn’t complete his ride… in fact, he was arrested before he told hardly anyone! The next thing is that he would not announce the British were coming because, well… everyone was British! The proper announcement was, The Red Coats were coming (everyone knew the Red Coats were the soldiers).

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Now the opening battles of Lexington and Concord were actually lost by the Americans… or sort of anyway. They ran from the experienced Red Coats. However, the Red Coats didn’t get what they were after either as the Patriots had hidden everything where the soldiers could not find it. It was the soldiers return to Boston that was cause for alarm. The Patriots hit them over and over, striking as they had seen the Native Americans do to them for years.

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The Red Coats lost badly and the rebels had a new name, Patriots. The rest of the war didn’t go so well for the Patriots though they did finally win (as we all know). So today is the day we honor the memory of those who fired the opening shots. I wonder if we would be brave enough to do the same today if we had to?

How to celebrate  – Read about the Patriots. Visit New England and the battle sites there. Learn about the American Revolution.

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April 17th Patriots Day

Patriots Day is primarily a celebration in the New England states where the “Shot Heard Around the World” was first heard. It commemorates the start of the Revolutionary War with the battles of Lexington and Concord, the “Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” and The beginning of the Siege of Boston.  It always falls on the third Monday in April, though the actual action occurred on April 19th, 1775.

Lexington-by-William-Barnes-Wollen

It starts with the local militia taking a stand at Lexington trying to prevent the British from seizing the armory in Concord. Some 80 militia men, warned by William Dawes (Revere was arrested before he could warn the patriots), stood their ground before trained British Army units. It was a brief stand that the Redcoats blew right through.

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Reaching Concord, the British found all the powder and weapons removed from the armory and after a short skirmish, began marching back to Boston.

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The Patriots had no standing army that could match the British in traditional tactics of the day. However, they had learned the art of hit and run, considered less honorable but very effective. The British, unchallenged to this point, found their way back to Boston a living nightmare as they were hit by the American’s at nearly every turn.

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Hiding behind trees and firing only once before running away, the American’s made the British pay. In the end, 49 Americans were killed, 39 wounded and 5 went missing. The British lost 73 killed, 174 wounded and 53 missing before reaching the relative safety of Boston.

Though not all of America celebrates Patriots Day, we should. It is the first day we stood up on our own and started the long road to becoming a country.

How to celebrate – Remember those who lost their lives defending America before it was America. Read about the battles of Lexington and Concord. Check your family heritage and see if you may have had a Patriot in your history.