by Marshall Jamison

Our father, as we grew older, included us in the group of his college students who shared, each year on April Nineteenth, a bus ride from Fanuiel Hall in downtown Boston to Lexington and Concord where the day was spent with such as Thoreau, Revere, Alcott and Emerson (to drop a name or two.)

The Green at Lexington is the natural first stop on the trail to the magic wrought by those glorious historic fellows. While now surrounded by the traffic of busy city streets, the Green itself retains the atmospheric mystery of the brave Minute Men who stood their ground and fought for the freedom some of them would die for.

But it is “by the rude bridge that arched the flood” in old Concord Town that the spirit of our land and its indomitable founders is most evident. To two awestruck lads, the legend of heroism eulogized by Ralph Waldo Emerson in his epoch verse was unforgettable. It greets the visitor on the path that leads to and over the bridge to the simple heroic statue of the rugged Minute Man. There the bravery and resolution of the “embattled farmers” of the poem are illustrated with artistic integrity and simple dignity.

Now the Concord River flows peacefully through on green fields and quiet farms which epitomize rural America. May it flow thus always.

To those of us who have had the unearned glorious privilege of growing up in this country and calling it our own, the Nineteenth of April is a day of incredible historic significance. But now the celebration of its glory is deeply scarred for all of us by the unforgivable sin of the Oklahoma Massacre.

We pray the future will bring peace and deep solace to our countrymen who have suffered pain, loss and death. May their forefather’s courage serve as a guiding example for their lives.

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