By the rude bridge that arched the flood,Concord Hymn by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.
I am the son of several generations of German-American farmers. My father’s father and his father’s father ploughed the black loam of northwest Ohio almost from the beginning of that state’s existence in 1803. When I read Emerson’s immortal poem about the farmers taking a stand for freedom, it reminds me of our own immigrant legacy.
Today, we celebrate Patriot’s Day in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, always the third Monday in April to remember April 19, 1775 when the first shot of the American Revolution was fired on the Lexington Green. Though our tours focus mostly on the centuries before and after Boston’s independence, it is very clear that the religious freedom sought by our Puritan forefathers became the foundation of our political freedom from Great Britain. The Rev. George Whitefield, anchor of America’s First Great Awakening, has been called America’s spiritual founding father. I hope someday to portray him on the Boston Common along with the Rev. John Eliot, as his sermon to over 40,000 souls was instrumental in reigniting prayer and the spiritual life in the early colony and stoking the desire for freedom from sin and oppression.
Happy Patriot’s Day! Memory eternal to those who lost their lives in the Boston Marathon Bombing of 10 years ago. Come to Boston and book a tour today and help us remember this great city and the surrounding cities of Lexington and Concord that stand for freedom and liberty throughout the world.