It is early morning as we make our way to the bridge, taking our place behind the rope, we gaze around. Many people have come, and the Park Rangers have to push people back behind the ropes. They crowd towards the front, peering in to see what will happen next.
There is a disturbance in the distance. There is the sound of many feet, and intermittent shouting. There is an army coming. The even drum beats that follow stir something deep within me and catch my attention. Suddenly we are were gazing at a column of British soldiers. The bright red uniforms were bright against the dull day. Despite their role in all of this, I cannot help but admire them. They are a unit, everything is succinct. From their gait, to the manner in which they hold their muskets, they are one. Just how they were that mid April morning when they marched on Concord.
It is a tradition, to come here right after dawn with bleary eyes to relive what happened. Children stand with Tricorne hats perched upon their heads, rattling off endless questions. Why were they here? Who were they? The parents answer in a slow deliberate matter, that makes me smile. No matter where we are now, this is where this country began.
“The Regulars are out!”
The word spread through Boston. 700 soldier were headed towards Concord. Two lanterns were hung in the Belfry of Old North Church, and two riders departed the city. They galloped out into the sleeping countryside to raise the alarm, the British were out and marching on Concord. The countryside came alive, men rushing out to defend what was theirs. The British would March unopposed until they reached Lexington, Before they left Lexington Green 8 men lay dead. But the British moved on, and within that moment out world changed.
By the end of the day the British Army would be on the run, the colonist chasing them from the countryside. Musket-balls flew through houses, blowing through walls and shattering windows as the regulars withdrew. Men hid behind anything they could find and shot at the retreating soldiers. A sleepy countryside was ripped apart by war. A group of colonists had not only stood up to the strongest country in the world, but won. 240 years ago on Battle Road the war for our country began.
There is so much more to it, then what they tell us. Hindsight does wonderful things for our perception. We all need to remember that they are seen favorable now, because we won. Our Heroes were traitors to their king, and by thinking in this manner it allows you to see what these men were risking. These men who stood at Old North Bridge and at Lexington, did not knowing if they could win, but stood up anyway. These men and women risked everything for what they believed in. As I watch the soldier march down to Old North Bridge I cannot help but feel proud. These men risked everything, luckily for us, they won.