Friday, April 17, 2015

Thinking About Patriot's Day

There seems to be confusion between Patriot's Day (April 19) which is a localized New-England holiday, and Patriot Day (September 11) which is national commemoration. I want to talk with you about Patriot's Day.

I've lived in Ohio for over twenty years. The April 19 holiday is unknown here. It's one of the few days of the year I have no one to play with . To all my Buckeye*- and other friends, read on.

The American Revolution began on the town green in Lexington, Massachusetts just after dawn on April 19, 1775. About eighty farmers from Lexington and outlying towns gathered in the pre dawn hours, awaiting a British regiment that was marching to an arsenal in Concord. They British had intended, all 600 of them,  to march right through Lexington unmolested. They were met instead by these Minute-men (ready in a minute). Shots were exchanged and after five minutes 8 of those farmers were dead and many other wounded. The British continued on to their march to Concord. At the Concord bridge they were met by a larger contingent of minute men, and a fierce battle began.

Now then. I've said this before but its worth repeating. The people in Concord Massachusetts will to this day insist that the American Revolution began in Concord. We all know that the American Revolution began with the first shots fired on the town green in Lexington. Concord is a nice place with nice people and its best to let them rave on, God love them.

April 19 was always a holiday. No school. Thee was a battle reenactment on the green at five a.m. The Lion's Club held an all you can eat pancake breakfast. Two dollars a plate. There was a 'young parade' at 8 a.m. The big parade was around noon. High school marching bands, floats, dignitaries usually the town selectmen) horses and all that goes with horses, flags, and a good time was had be all. For a long time standing at the foot of Maple St. and Mass Ave you'd have to pee on a neighbor's yard in those pre-porta potty days. Popcorn, cotton candy the whole bit,

The Boston Marathon was run on April 19. The twenty-six mile race began in Hopkinton, Mass and finished on Boylston Street in Boston, just before Copley Sq.

Things diluted a bit when those loathsome Monday holidays began. Patriot's Day was and is celebrated on the Monday closest to April 19, not on the day itself.

Patriot's Day is forever scarred by the bombing at the Boston Marathon two years ago. Apparently the nut cases from Dakastahn or Fuckastan or wherever learned about Patriot's Day, and how the day is the hear t of thousands of residents.

From that horror came BOSTON STRONG. I wear my T shirt all the time. People ask me about it and I tell them my home town was not about to roll over for two criminals. Nor will a yearly commemoration of the birth of  the United states be ruined. Far from it. So you know the history of Patriot's Day. You know why I wear my shirt to church and to the grocery store. Lexington Mass may as well have a big sign at the town line: Do Not Enter Without a High Six Figure Income. The town may be home to more people who have NEVER heard of Patriot's Day. IT doesn't matter. Enough of us remember in good times and bad. It's a great holiday for a great town. Now stop reading this and go eat pancakes.

*the Buckeye is the local icon. I saw it on buses, on posers everywhere. I thought it was marijuana. Hand to God. Those three green leaves. I remember thinking, hmm. Maybe I CAN live in this place.

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