On the night of April 18th, 1775, Dr. Joseph Warren, head of the colonials in Boston, was informed that the British Regulars were going to try to seize colonial stores of firearms, gun powder, and also try to capture Patriot Leaders. He dispatched Paul Revere and William Dawes to sound the “alarm and muster”. Both men had problems. Sybil Ludington, 16-year-old daughter of a Patriot leader, knew that she could get through. She was an excellent horsewoman and lighter than the men. Besides, she was a woman and less likely to be detained. Sybil and her horse, Star, covered over 40 miles, more than Revere and Dawes.
On April 19, 1775, British Regulars arrived in Lexington, Massachusetts to seize stores of firearms and gunpowder from American Patriots. American Minutemen confronted the British Regulars. The Americans were ordered to disperse. As they began doing so, a shot was fired and the American Revolution was on. No one can surely say who fired the first shot, as shots were fired earlier that morning at Lexington, leaving eight Americans dead or dying and the British suffering one casualty. The Regulars then marched on to Concord, Massachusetts, arriving there shortly before noon. However, by this time, the word had spread. They found themselves surrounded by hundreds of Minutemen. The British regulars retreated 16 miles back to Boston but the Minutemen were waiting behind every tree, rock and fence. The British lost 300 men, while the Minutemen lost less than 100.
Shot Heard Round the World Day (SHRW), a term made universal by Ralph Waldo Emmerson’s “Concord Hymn”, has become a national event for gun owners. It is celebrated by gun owners going to a range near them and shooting. If you can't make it today, go to your favorite shooting range this weekend and fire a few rounds. Every shot you fire is a celebration of freedom! Next year, SHRW Day will be the first weekend after April 19th (April 21st and 22nd, 2018). While April 19th is the actual day, it is easier for people to get to the range on weekends. We are the sons and daughters of these men and women who stood up to the most powerful nation on earth in 1775. Let us not forget their sacrifice and the sacrifices of all those who fought to preserve our freedom since.
Richard A Pearson