IN HONOR OF PATRIOT'S DAY (April 18, 2011)
No, you do not have to get up at the crack of dawn on Patriot's Day to drive up to Battle Road in Lexington, Massachusetts and witness the impressive events marking the beginnings of our new country. Instead, sleep in until noon, drive to the center of Northborough, gaze east along Main Street, and read the poem below.
Excerpt from Northborough History (p. 62):
"In the spring of 1775, a company of minute-men was organized, who forthwith began to drill that they might be prepared for that eventuality. They did not have to wait long for that eventuality --- for on the nineteenth of April, at about noon, news of the Battle of Lexington arrived in town. Curiously enough, the minute-men were gathering at the time for the purpose of listening to a patriotic address by their minister, Parson Whitney, who, we shall show later, was in thorough sympathy with the spirit of the times. Instantly their minds were made up. They repaired to their homes, bade good-bye to their families, and assembled at the home of their captain, Samuel Wood. Here, their good parson commended them to the protection of God, in an earnest prayer; after which, to the sound of Joseph Sever's drum and Ebenezer Hudson's fife they started on their way to Boston. All this happened 'within three or four hours' of the arrival of the news from Lexington."
The New York Times also published the poem, as written by Wallace Rice in the Springfield Republican (29 April 1900).
Kent, Josiah Coleman. Northborough History. Newton, Massachusetts: Garden City Press, 1921.
Beth Finch McCarthy