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Commentary Last Updated: Apr 20th, 2007 - 00:44:04

Patriots Day
By Budd Saunders
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Apr 20, 2007, 00:42

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The promise of America hinged on what happened on April 19, 1775. When Bush declared 9/11 to be Patriots Day, my wife went ballistic. It seems that Patriots Day is April 19! The night of April 18-19 was when Paul Revere took his famous �midnight ride� alerting people, �The British are coming!�

Although my wife was born in Alabama, she was raised in Cambridge and Lexington, Massachusetts, and participated in many Patriots Day celebrations honoring the small group of Minute Men who held the far superior British troops in Lexington long enough for the Minute Men in Concord to secure the ammunition stored there.

There has been a rivalry between those two towns ever since. At least as long as my wife lived there, every Thanksgiving Lexington and Concord played their last football game of the year against each other, and the winner got the Revolutionary musket. Usually Concord got it, but my wife is hopeful that things have changed since she moved away and that now Lexington is winning the musket.

At dawn on every April 19, the Lexington High School band, in which my wife played clarinet, marched from the eastern edge of town to the Battle Green along the route Revere and the British took. They marched the route again in the afternoon for the big town celebration in honor of that brave group of Minute Men.

Eight of them were killed. Beside the doorway to the home of one of my wife�s friends was a plaque to one who died that day on those very steps my wife climbed many times to visit her friend.

The Red Coats marched on to Concord, where Minute Men had had time to prepare and were victorious. And that was the start of our Revolution.

The Constitution would not be completed for 12 years. That is our beloved Constitution. The Constitution that spells out what has (in the past) made the United States the nation we pride ourselves on being: �Land of the free and home of the brave.� That is the Constitution and national character that Bushies are destroying with their greedy power grabbing to create the dictatorship of an imperial presidency in the name of a newly proclaimed �Patriots Day.�

I�m not denying the importance of 9/11, but it is not Patriots Day. By stealing the name, the Bush/Rovians deny us one of the proudest days in our history. And I for one want it back.

Let�s lift one to April 19th: �May the spirit of the true patriotism of 1775 rise again.�

Question authority. It�s the American way.

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