Growing up, Patriot’s Day had always been about Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his poem about Paul Revere’s Ride. Over time, it has also been associated with a baseball game at Fenway park and the Boston Marathon.
I grew up in New York, and when I was an adult, having moved just outside of Boston, I was finally able to watch more Patriots’ Day festivities. The first year that I worked for Digital Equipment Corporation was the first year I had Patriots’ Day off from work. I arose early and followed the re-enactment of the Patriots’ march from Acton (yes, Acton – Henry left out Acton. Maybe it was too far West. Or maybe it didn’t rhyme with enough other things…) through Lexington to Concord.
It was very moving to watch this re-enactment. It brought home the fact that people DIED fighting for our freedom.
Today, On April 15, 2013, “Patriot’s Day” has been re-defined by 2 explosions near the end of the route of the Boston Marathon. As of today, Patriots’ Day will be rembered for bombings of innocent spectators and athletes. Yet, we also saw many first responders immediately re-acting to help. We’ve heard of marathon runners who kept running to the hospital to donate blood. We’ve heard of many Boston area people opening up their homes to shelter the runners who might have no other safe place to go.
So this, my friends and fellow Americans, is the NEW Patriots’ Day. A day when we want to welcome people of every nation and gender to participate in demonstrating that people together can triumph over adversity.