Monday, April 20, 2009
Patriot Day Trilogy
Listen my children and you shall hear
of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
on the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Paul Revere's Ride
By the rude bridge that arched the flood
Here once th'embattled farmers stood.
Their flags to April's breeze unfurled
And fired the shot heard 'round the world.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Concord Hymn
If you're a patriotic sports fan living in New England, there is almost nothing better than Patriots Day, a day, celebrated mostly in New England states, that honors the bravery of the colonial soldiers during the battles of Concord and Lexinton on April 18, 1775. On any givenyear, if you do it right, you can go to the 11 a.m. Red Sox game, catch the end of the Boston Marathon(it's the 113th running today) sometime between 1:30 and 2 (depending on who's pitching), take a leisurely stroll across town, grab something tasty to eat in Quincy Market, and then catch either a Bruins or a Celtics play-off game that evening.
Crazy as it sounds, I actually did that once, a number of years ago now. Then, it was a Bruins game. Today, it will be a Celtics game vs. the Bulls if you're so inclined. Several times, I've done the 1-2, Red Sox and Marathon. On top of all this, if you're a real early bird, you can witness the re-enactment of the famous battles and then go downtown for the atletic events. The re-enactment starts before dawn when "Paul" and his friend "Samuel Dawes" ride "sound the alarm to every Middlesex village and farm." As the sun rises, the British march on the two towns and the patriots rise to the challenge while hundreds, perhaps even thousands, stand along the way to gawk and marvel at the antiquated warfare tactics that set this country on the road to the democracy we now enjoy and flourish in. And yes, I've done that, too. More than once
No matter the weather (and it's often cloudy, overcast and/or rainy), there's nothing like this day for community warmth and friendliness. It's one of my favorite holidays.