Hardly a Man is Now Alive Who Remembers …

Happy Patriots’ Day.

The opening volleys of the American Revolution were fired by redcoats on Lexington Green, early on the morning of April 19, 1775.

These seven Americans were killed or mortally wounded:

Jonas Parker
Jonathon Harrington
Caleb Harrington
John Brown
Samuel Hudley
Robert Munroe
Isaac Muzzy
Asahel Porter

Jonathan Harrington crawled home, shot through the chest, and died on his front doorsteps.

Blood is the price of freedom. Never forget.

God bless America.

8 thoughts on “Hardly a Man is Now Alive Who Remembers …”

  1. Here in MA it’s still a holiday. I can hear the Arlington mayor’s speech through the back window, and they have some reproduction muskets to fire. Parade’s about to start.

    Not everything about this state is wrong…

    Matya no baka

  2. “Mourn for the dead who died for this country,
    Whose minds went dark at the edge of a field,
    In the muck of a trench, on the beachhead sand,
    In a blast amidships, a burst in the air.
    What did they think of before they forgot us?
    In the blink of time before they forgot us?
    The glare and whiskey of Saturday evening?
    The drone or lilt of their family voices?
    The bend of a trout stream? A fresh-made bed?
    The sound of a lathe, or the scent of sawdust?
    The mouth of a woman? A prayer? Who knows
    Let us not force them to speak in chorus,
    These men diverse in their names and faces
    Who lived in a land where a life could be chosen.
    Say that they mattered, alive and after;
    That they gave us time to become what we could.”

    From Richard Wilbur’s “On Freedom’s Ground”.
    Wilbur dedicated the poem to his friend William Schuman, and todaqy I’d like to mention the names of Tommy Hill and Mike Harris.

  3. “Restless that noble day, appeased by soft
    Drinks and tobacco, littering the grass
    While the flag snapped and brightened far aloft,
    We waited for the marathon to pass.

    “We fathers and our little sons, let out
    Of school and office to be put to shame.
    Now from the street-side someone raised a shout,
    And into view the first small runners came.

    “Dark in the glare, they seemed to thresh in place
    Like preening flies upon a windowsill,
    Yet gained and grew, and at a cruel pace
    Swept by us on their way to Heartbreak Hill–

    “Legs driving, fists at port, clenched faces, men
    And, in amongst them, stamping on the sun,
    Our champion, Kelley, who would win again,
    Rocked in his will, at rest within his run.”

    From Richard Wilbur’s “Running, Patriots’Day “

  4. Fred, the point was not the amount of the taxes. In fact, keeping the amount small was a trick by the British. The point was, who governs the people? Do they govern themselves under their own charter and laws, as they had for over a century, or would the the British King-in-parliament govern them as subjects? The old yankess knew better than to go to war over a few pennies. They also knew that a principle submitted to for a few pennies would soon be a very costly noose around their necks. They choose to fight on the principle, rather than submit, even for a penny.

    I also grew up in Massachusetts. I agree absolutely that there are good things about it. Historical respect and awareness are a big part of what remains great about the Bay State.

    George, thanks. Life itself is a gift from God, as is liberty, as President Bush so often says. But it has been cultivated and handed down to us by many, many people, many of whom made great and even ultimate sacrifices, some known to us by name, most not. We look at the old photos, or paintings or statues and we cannot speak to the men to whom we owe so much, other than in imagination. But the proper attitude toward them is respect and gratitude. I’ll check out both poems.

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