Big Day for Boston

Today was a day that makes Boston unique: Patriots Day. It is a day marked by remembrance of the start of the American Revolution, baseball, and a marathon. Most of the state of Massachusetts has a holiday, and people from all over visit New England to take part in the festivities. Very few people outside of New England even know about it.

Onlookers cheer on late finshers

On the night of April 18, 1775, as a signal to silversmith Paul Revere, a member of the Sons of Liberty, that the Redcoats had begun their march to an arms depot at Concord, two lanterns were lit in Boston's Old North Church. And so began Revere's midnight ride to Lexington in which he alarmed the countryside along the way. By the time the Redcoats reached Lexington Green, they were met by 70 minutemen under the command of John Parker. The "shot heard around the world" was fired, and the vastly outnumbered minutemen dispersed into the woods. The British continued their march toward Concord, where the patriots were more prepared, and the battle was a rout. The British retreated to Boston and met resistance in the countryside the whole way. By the time the sun had set, the British casualties numbered nearly 300, whereas the minutemen lost less than 100. The American Revolution had begun.

Paul Revere's midnight ride was re-enacted early this morning, followed by the Battles of Lexington and Concord later in the day. Parades took place in Boston, Lexington, and Concord. A Patriots day observence was held across the Charles River in Cambridge, including a re-enactment of General William Dawes' horseback ride from Boston to Cambridge.

Baseball starts two hours early so that fans from Fenway Park can catch the finish of the Boston marathon after the game. The city's beloved Red Sox finished up a four game series today vanquishing the Evil Empire 5-4 in a come from behind victory, taking 3 of 4 games over the weekend, and rendering that overpaid pretty boy Alex Rodriguez impotent. I know that it's probably a jinx to say so, but this year's team is gonna go places.

This isn't the same franchise as it was five years ago. Young Theo Epstein is ambitious and driven. He's going to bring the city a World Series win it has longed for so many years. Entire generations have come and gone since the Sox won it all. I hear co-workers lament this fact all the time - "Yeah, my uncle Todd lived and died and never saw the Sox win". Sometime in the next five years, if not this season, the Sox will win the whole thing. I guarantee it. In Theo we trust.

By the way, is Kevin Millar a great name for a Sox player or what? Mill-ah. "Did you hear that Mill-ah shaved his head?" "Did you hear Mill-ah say 'Cowboy Up!'?" Of course, if that overpaid pretty boy A-Rahd had signed with the Sox as he almost did, Mill-ah would have had some competition in the name game. Then again, the Sox would be without the ultimate, all-time, supreme, czar of Boston names: No-mah Gah-see-yah-pah-rah.

As the midday heat built to a near record 85 F crescendo, the fans emptied out of Fenway Park and headed over to Beacon Street and Kenmore Square to view the marathon runners pass by. The marathon route finishes in the Back Bay on Boylston Street, about two blocks from my apartment building. Surprisingly, Kenyans swept the top finishes. Late finishers would continue to cross the finish line for the next several hours.

It's hard to believe that the socialist commonwealth I call home was the very fountainhead of the American Revolution. While the local political landscape is today characterized by progressive smoking bans, gun control, university presidents having mob ties, and repulsive thugs like Ted Kennedy having perennial power, the spirit of '76 captured men's hearts and drove them to refuse to accept tyranny, even if cost was their lives. They chose to rather die fighting as free men rather than live under a King, and gave birth to the first practical application of Enlightenment ideas. The world is better for it today.
Some pass away the hours at the Christian Science Church plaza

Home sweet home

The warm weather opens up the sidewalk cafes along Newbury Street

Does any remant of that spirit live on today? Everyday political events would suggest no. Yet, after seeing the people, not politicians, but the people taking part in the celebrations today, I refuse to believe that there is something fundamentally rotten about the culture around me. I watched with quiet comfort as ordinary folk lined the streets as late as 7 PM, when the barricades and roadblocks were being removed, to cheer on the late finishers coming in with marathon times of seven plus hours. As children played in nearby Copley Park, as friends celebrated with meals along the outdoor cafes of Newbury Street, and as common strangers turned into intimate fellow countrymen during the festivities, something became very apparent. These people were living life in the fullest sense, with respect for each others' automony on mutually accepted terms.

Who knows - maybe if this "democracy" nonsense wasn't being shoved down our throats in schools everyday, things might be different. Maybe then people would realize that the very values of civil society that make today so special are no longer present when one enters a voting booth. Things are moving in the right direction though. Maybe not politically, but politics lag culture. The ideas that gave birth to the American Revolution are coming back, ever so slowly, but surely. The internet has given a new voice to that spirit, and history shows the blights of central planning and concentrated power for what they are. Even in these times, there is much hope for the future

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[...] . This game will be remembered fifty years from now. At the beginning of the season, I felt1 the Sox would win it all this year. There is no dou [...]