"Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions --
The Eyes of all our Countrymen are now upon us. ...
Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and shew the whole world, that a Freeman contending for Liberty on his own ground is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth."
--George Washington, 1776
Patriots' Day: Sons of Liberty Then and Now
By Mark Alexander From The Patriot Post
In December of 1773, the Sons of Liberty, a group of Boston "radicals" acting under the leadership of Samuel Adams, galvanized a rebellion against authoritarian colonial rulers, through the simple act of dumping tea into Boston Harbor -- a protest of a small three pence tax levied by the British. That event was immortalized as the "Boston Tea Party," and was the inspiration for the rising rebellion in this era called the Tea Party Movement.
Sixteen months after the Boston Tea Party, the first Patriots' Day began with the horseback gallop of Paul Revere and William Dawes, just after midnight, en route to Concord, Massachusetts. Their mission was to warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams that British troops were coming to arrest them and seize their weapons. The British understood that to render neutral any resistance to tyranny, they must first disarm the people and remove from them the palladium of the liberties.
Revere was captured but Dawes and Samuel Prescott, who had joined them along the way, escaped and continued toward Concord. Dawes later fell from his horse, but Prescott, who knew the area well enough to navigate rapidly at night, made it to Concord in time to warn the Sons of Liberty.
At dawn, farmers and laborers, landowners and statesmen alike, gathered to confront the British, pledging through action what Thomas Jefferson would later frame in words as "our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor." Thus began the great campaign to reject the predictable albeit tyrannical order of the state and to embrace the difficult toils of securing individual Liberty. It was this as-yet unwritten pledge by militiamen in the Battles of Lexington and Concord that would delineate the distinction between Liberty and tyranny in Colonial America.
Why would the first generation of American Patriots forgo, in the inimitable words of Samuel Adams, "the tranquility of servitude" for "the animating contest of freedom"?
The answer to that question defined the spirit of American Patriotism at the dawn of the American Revolution, and to this day and for eternity, that spirit will serve as the first line of defense against tyranny.
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