by Dan Hendrickson
April 19th, 1775
On that fateful day, that unfortunately most Public School students are taught little about, an amazing thing was created, the American Spirit. While it is true that the colonies had been around for quite awhile, centuries even in some areas, American Spirit was not created until April 19th, 1775. That was the first time, Freedom and Liberty minded individuals from all classes of society and race coalesced together and not only held their line in the sand, but drove the British Army all the way back to Boston.
Colonists were by nature a fairly hardy and free spirited folk. The Continent literally oozed Freedom. For the folks who bravely boarded a ship and crossed an ocean, their purpose was solely the chance of Freedom to start fresh and live their lives as they saw fit. It was a journey that could be anywhere from 1 ½ months to 5-6 months long depending on conditions (National Weather Service? What's that??), living on salted and dried meats and limited water supply in disgustingly filthy conditions. How many of today's teens and twenty somethings would take that risk for Freedom? (sorry kids, intentionally living as scum at an occupy rally doesn't count, you can always walk away and go home to mommy)
Then you had those born in the Colonies. Even those born to wealthy Merchant parents were far more hardened than those of similar status in England. Life was tough in the Colonies because of the dependance on England and other Countries, and you lived literally next door to the wilderness full of dangerous animals, Indians and all, but it was still far more Free than anywhere else, and with a good work ethic and determination, you could be what you wanted to be.
On April 19, 1775, something happened that would change the mindset of the Colonists forever, not one but two lines in the sand were crossed. After several years of protesting tyranny, the small minority of rabble were starting to really aggravate Ole' King George. As he became more and more angered, he ratcheted up the tyranny. On that day, the British Army, 700 strong, marched to Concord to seize weapons and powder and destroy anything else capable of aiding a rebellion.
As you all know I hope, the British were delayed slightly in Lexington by the Local Militia led by Captain Parker. However, the militia was greatly out numbered and when they were ordered to disperse by the British, Parker was having some second thoughts. He wasn't ready to flip that switch and go from a second class British subject to a Felon to be hanged on the spot. When he ordered the Militia to Stand down, most did, but then that Famous “Shot heard round the World” was fired. The line that the Citizens of Lexington had drawn in the sand had now been crossed, but unfortunately they lost this skirmish. Eight Massachusetts men were killed and ten were wounded, The British shouted 3 “HUZZAHS!” and the 700 man column marched on towards Concord.
Concord had more time to prepare thanks to Dr Samuel Prescott. See the Poem doesn't tell the whole story about Paul Revere's Ride. Paul Revere and William Dawes never made it to Concord, but by luck, planning or maybe pure providence, they ran into Dr. Prescott who was on his way home from courting his fiancee Miss Mulliken. When the three were captured by a British Patrol outside of Lexington, Dr. Prescott managed to escape whereas Revere lost his horse Brown Beauty and Dawes decided he was done warning the countryside for the day. Without Dr. Prescott and the dozens of other pre-planned alarm riders joining in, who knows how things would have turned out.
What about that other line in the Sand that was crossed that day? Well after Concord and the Skirmish at the North Bridge the British retreat to Boston began. So far the British had fired first in both skirmishes. That would give the colonists involved a little slack. Sure there would be some hangings and a few examples to be made, but there would not have been war, the vast majority did not want war. But at Merriam's Corner's the line the King's sand would be crossed.
As the militia's followed the British Column in their retreat, the rear guard of the British were getting nervous. At Merriam's Corner they turned and faced the militia and prepared to fire. Unbeknownst to them, a militia unit had gathered along the side of the road at a very advantageous position. The militia asked themselves, do we stand here and watch as our countrymen are killed, or do we fire? They fired and the surprise broadside attack was very effective, and that was the first time that the colonists fired a volley into British Ranks first.
At that moment an incredible thing happened. In a massive cataclysmic yet ethereal reaction, American Spirit was created. While the Revolution was actually fought by very few, the American Spirit spreading across the land touched the hearts and minds of the Americans. All classes of wealth, race, and gender came together for a common goal and took part in winning American Independence.
As Revolutions go, it was a very clean war. It wasn't about the Government isn't doing enough, it was about the Government is doing too much. They sought Freedom and Liberty, and nothing more. The French Revolution a few years later was simply about butchering and murdering the ruling class and replacing them with a dictatorship. Yet today, the media cheers the French Revolution and calls our Founders terrorists.
My how we have fallen as a Nation......
American Spirit, since it's initial creation is much like energy. As you all know, energy cannot be created nor destroyed, it can only be concentrated or dissipated. Dissipation is exactly what has happened to the American Spirit. Years of socialist/communist Indoctrination have Americans believing Unions are “Pro-American” and not Communist at all. They believe Government regulation is needed because all of their comrades... er I mean friends and family cannot be trusted to do the right thing. That making a profit is some how bad and that taking from those who work and giving to those who do not is some how noble.
The American Dream that has existed since the first colonies were settled, the dream that Freedom and Liberty combined with personal responsibility and a good work ethic can make ANYTHING possible has been replaced with a mentality that winning the Lottery or “scoring a big settlement” is the only way to wealth and prosperity.
We have a “Campaigner in Chief” who's only hope for re-election is built on pitting all classes of wealth, gender, race, and religion against one another. The exact opposite to what brought our young Nation together 237 years ago today.
Learn the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Ideals that made our Nation the greatest on earth. Learn about Freedom & Liberty's enemies and what has been done to drop Lady Liberty to her knees. Then teach your friends, and your Family. Time is running out, four more years of this and it's over.