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There are three British soldiers buried at Lexington, Mass. British military records indicate they were all privates in the 4th Regiment missing after the North Bridge fight with the Minutemen.
So what exactly happened in April of 1775? Ralph Waldo Emerson himself explains:
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled;
Here once the embattled farmers stood;
And fired the shot heard round the world.
Fast forward to June 2008. The 10th Mountain Division was on the move, and the Dallas / Ft. Worth airport was alive with their energy. One family scene in particular will never leave my mind. A proud young warrior, his body chiseled from steel but with cheerful and gentle eyes played with his 2- year-old son. His wife and his father sat nearby. As he chased his son out of view, his wife leaned on her father-in-law’s shoulder and I could see her head slowly nodding with sobs. But as the young hero approached again, she quickly wiped away her tears and smiled.
My mind raced back to a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow memorized long ago in high school. Instantly, that 10th Mountain Division soldier pacing back and forth and the Minuteman of yesteryear became as one.
Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride,
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
And so my friends, please take a moment this July 4 to reflect further on the immortal words of Longfellow, and to be truly thankful to all generations of American heroes past and present:
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 forevermore!
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.
Vivek R. Dave