Monday, April 21, 2008

Happy Patriots Day

I was listening to my favorite radio station, WTKK 96.9. here in Mass. I regularly listen to these two and I have learned many things. I have also had my mind changed. But I am not surprised by most of what is said. Today, I was struck. In between marathon talk and traffic complaints, the discussion turned to another frivolous holiday.

How can Patriots Day be a frivolous holiday?

If you are not from New England or surrounding areas you would probably not know that we celebrate Patriots Day in April. Some may only think of the Boston Marathon held this day. We celebrate this special day because Boston is the place where the American Revolution started.

The Revolution where one third of our ancestors fought. Men, women and children lost their lives for freedom. What many people have no idea of is that the people who did not lose their lives lost everything else. Homes were burned to the ground. Family members were imprisoned. Years of hard work and future generations were sacrificed in order to achieve America's freedom.

Patriots Day celebrates the battle of Lexington and Concord as well as Paul Revers ride. April 19th, 1775 started our fight for independence with "the shot heard round the world". Lexington and Concord reenact the events of the past to show respect and gratitude for those sacrifices. Some events start as early as 5:00 am. The preparation and commitment is astounding. These people give up their time to honor the dead and educate the living. These events hopefully will keep the past alive for generations to come.

I digress..

I know believe that people (not just my beloved hosts) wonder about these "frivolous" holidays because they have not sacrificed anything close to what our ancestors had. Whether it be our founding or our immigrant ancestors. They only care that they can do what they want and stop people from doing what they think is incorrect, i.e.: smoking, certain foods, etc.

We may see snippets of clips on TV of fighting, bombs and bullets. But what we never see is the soldiers helping villagers stay safe only to lose limbs or their lives. The powers that be shield us from what they deem necessary, right or wrong. The media shows us what they think will sway the vote to help their causes.

Our ancestors started the fight for the freedom we have today. Our one third today still fights for those freedoms. Whether it be keeping our freedom in tact or helping other countries fighting for theirs. It does not matter that they agree with the administration in command but that they have a duty and they honor it. And for that - I celebrate.

Happy Patriots Day!

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