Colonial reenactors prepare to participate in a Patriots' Day parade in Lexington, Mass.

U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy

Patriots' Day: The fight for freedom

April 16, 2018 - 10:05 am

Patriots’ Day: an important holiday that doesn’t celebrate the New England Patriots football team, but the real patriots who participated in the first battles of the American Revolutionary War. 

It commemorates the Battles of Lexington and Concord, which took place April 19, 1775, when British Army regulars tried to capture military supplies that were placed in the surrounding area of Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts. But the militia had already caught wind of the operation and moved the supplies.

The night before, April 18, 1775, was Paul Revere’s midnight ride to Lexington to warn them that the British were on their way.

The first battle between the British and the militia happened in the morning on the Lexington Green, where eight militiamen died. Later that day, the British were met by even more militiamen on Concord’s North Bridge. The militia fought off the British regulars, causing them to retreat.

These battles are reenacted every year on the actual battlefields, remembering the men who started the fight for the country we now call the United States of America. 

The day is celebrated in Massachusetts, Maine, Wisconsin, and now, Connecticut. It is also the day that the Boston Marathon is held, which dates back to 1897.