Postcards from the Edge of the Stream
History at Concord
Kathi Wall, MLRC Program Director
It has to begin somewhere, so it shall begin here. If we do not know where we have been, we cannot know where we can go.
July 4, 2015 … Independence Day
Today I walked on sacred ground. The opening battle for our freedom from English rule and undue taxation was fought at North Bridge in Concord. I came expecting an outdoor stroll and found myself walking in the footsteps of 4,000 patriots – citizens who practiced to respond to fight “at a moment’s notice.” They marched against 1,700 professional British soldiers on April 19, 1775. These “minutemen” were volunteer farmers and merchants from 27 Massachusetts towns who gathered to defend their way of life, their freedom, and their children’s future.
By the end of that day in 1775, the North Bridge had been secured by the Minutemen and the British had retreated to Charlestown. The British counted 73 dead and 174 wounded soldiers. The “Colonials” had 49 men dead and 41 wounded. The Revolutionary War had begun.
The British called this “The Rebellion of the Colonies” and it occupies a small display corner of the British Museum. In Concord, the Minutemen National Historical Park is a large outdoor museum with the Battle Road covering 5 miles of walking or biking through history. There are cell phone stations with historical stories all the way to the Lexington border.
The Minute Man Statue by Daniel French has watched over the North Bridge since 1875, the year commemorating 100 years since we began the fight for our freedom. He stands as a symbol of liberty, human bravery, and the ability of “ordinary people” to change the course of history. This is the real story of Independence Day.
Words for the Day:
Patriot: a person who loves and supports their country
Revolution: an overthrow of an established government
Liberty: freedom from harsh or mean control by a government or person
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