We The People

We The People

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Lexington Concord

By Tammy Derouin

On this day, April 19, 1775, a shot was fired. A new era of freedom and independence was on the horizon. Although it may not have been known at the time, this day, this event, would forever change the history of the world.

Man's journey out of darkness would begin a new chapter. It had been well over 500 years since the groundwork had been put into motion for future generations to secure the blessings of liberty. In an effort to avoid an English rebellion, King John agreed to a charter of liberties, which we know today as the Magna Carta. Originally signed in 1215, with several revisions taking place over the next several years, the Magna Carta was the cornerstone for the English system of common law.

 The Magna Carta would inspire future documents of liberty. This would become evident when the colonist declared their independence from the British crown. The legacy would continue as it was also used as a pattern by the founding fathers when drafting the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Without this Great Charter, the idea of living free may have remained a dream. Rights which are granted by man or given on conditions, can be removed by man. Rights which are acknowledged as God-given, can only be removed if we freely give them away.

Tensions were on the rise between the American colonist and the British government. On April 19, 1775, British soldiers began an early morning march to Concord, MA to seize military supplies which had been gathered and stored by the town's patriots. The British were coming.

Several riders, including silversmith Paul Revere, rode throughout the countryside warning the colonial militia and minutemen that British troops were heading to Concord. While in Lexington, Revere got word that it was a false alarm. A scout had reported that no British soldiers were on the road. The relief was short lived as another scout entered the town proclaiming the British were right behind him. The local militia quickly assembled under the command of Captain Parker. Upon entering the town, the British ordered the militia to throw down their weapons. Captain Parker gave the command for the soldiers to disperse. However, the militia did not give up their arms. As the patriots turned away, a shot was fired. The British began to fire their weapons and charged forward with their bayonets. It remains a mystery as to who fired the first shot. Once the British regained control of their soldiers and the smoke cleared, eight militiamen were dead and nine others wounded.

The Battle of Lexington and Concord was immortalized in a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson as the 'shot heard round the world.' It was the start of the American Revolution and it would forever change the world.

On this day, April 19, 2017, The Museum of the American Revolution is opening in Philadelphia, PA. I cannot think of a better way to celebrate the 242 anniversary of the “Shot Heard Round The World.” I would have loved to have been there for this momentous occasion. Just knowing that it exists is exciting and gives me hope that more Americans will either renew their interest or be inspired to learn about the history of our great country. Check out their website. It’s full of information. Add your name to their mailing list. This is going to be such an exciting journey down the path to freedom.

Sadly, our public schools are not teaching our children the significance of being an American. They are not being taught why the United States is so exceptional among nations or that freedom comes at a price and therefore should not be taken for granted. Those who came before us stood up to tyranny so future generations could live free. The home of the brave paved the way for the land of the free. Let us hope and pray that their sacrifices and the sacrifices of those who fought for freedom and the homeland throughout our history, have not been in vain.

Freedom can and will be lost if we do not pay attention. We recently allowed our country to get dangerously close to the point of no return. A fundamental transformation was taking place. This would have caused us to journey back into darkness, back into enslavement. We are far from being out of the woods. Evil has taken root and is spreading. Sadly, many Americans have fallen victim to the poison being feed to them. When we do not know our history and we do not know the truth or refuse to hear it, we inflict more harm. We must recognize our enemies, both foreign and domestic and eradicate them, not pacify them.

But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”

John Adams