Two hundred forty years ago today, the “shot heard around the world” signaled the start of the American Revolutionary War. As described on History.com,
At about 5 a.m., 700 British troops, on a mission to capture Patriot leaders and seize a Patriot arsenal, march into Lexington to find 77 armed minutemen under Captain John Parker waiting for them on the town’s common green. British Major John Pitcairn ordered the outnumbered Patriots to disperse, and after a moment’s hesitation the Americans began to drift off the green. Suddenly, the “shot heard around the world” was fired from an undetermined gun, and a cloud of musket smoke soon covered the green. When the brief Battle of Lexington ended, eight Americans lay dead or dying and 10 others were wounded. Only one British soldier was injured, but the American Revolution had begun.
The next few years would be difficult and trying, but eventually, the brave colonists would prevail. I shall ever be grateful for those who redeemed this great nation by shedding their precious blood in our behalf. (Doctrine & Covenants 101:80)
My new freedom friend, Drew Jensen, suggested that I highlight a portion of the famous poem, “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” on my blog today. Written in 1860 by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the poem recounts Paul Revere’s thrilling ride through the Boston area to warn his compatriots about the advancing British army.
The following few lines captured the exemplary courage he exhibited in the face of personal and collective danger as the fate of an emerging nation hung in the balance.
And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with it’s heat….
"So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo for evermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.’
May we all be so courageous in the constant battle for freedom!
Every day, an email message from Visual Thesaurus drops in my email box with an interesting Word of the Day. Today’s word was tricorn, in honor of Independence Day:
“The children’s song that begins ‘My hat it has three corners . . .’ might seem to be an etymological friend of this word, but in fact the -corn part is from Latin cornu, "horn" (from which, by the way, corner is also derived). We salute the three cornered hat today for its association with the American revolutionary period whose culmination was the Declaration of Independence: signed on this day in Philadelphia in 1776.
Thanks, Visual Thesaurus, for teaching us about tricorn hats today. You might be interested to note that you can purchase a hat like the handsome gentleman above is wearing for $165 from Jas Townsend & Son. Enjoy!
By the way, tomorrow’s Visual Thesaurus’ word of the day, malleable, meaning “able to be shaped or bent”, just appeared in my email box. I am grateful that our Founding Fathers and patriots who fought in the revolutionary war weren’t overly malleable. It took amazing courage and resolve to stand firm against what many thought were insurmountable odds to win our freedom from tyranny. Thank you, noble tricorn wearing, rock solid souls!
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their Houses, and Farms, are to be pillaged and destroyed, and they consigned to a State of Wretchedness from which no human efforts will probably deliver them. The fate of unborn Millions will now depend, under God, on the Courage and Conduct of this army—Our cruel and unrelenting Enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance, or the most abject submission; this is all we can expect—We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die: Our own Country’s Honor, all call upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions—The Eyes of all our Countrymen are now upon us, and we shall have their blessings, and praises, if happily we are the instruments of saving them from the Tyranny meditated against them. Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and shew the whole world, that a Freeman contending for Liberty on his own ground is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.”
George Washington, First President of the United States of America. From “General Orders”, July 2, 1776.