Winter Tea Party winners: Angela's book,THE SCARLET COAT, will go to: Print copy- Andrea Stephens; e-book copy - Catherine Wight!

LUCY REYNOLDS has a table topper quilt on the way, and winners of the Valentine Ebook Collection are: Deanna Stevens, Caryl Kane, Anne Payne and Winnie Thomas. With thanks to all who joined in!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Remembering Patriot's Day

By Elaine Marie Cooper


Since I grew up near Boston, Massachusetts, I can never think about the week of April 19th without pausing to reflect on its meaning for our country. It was the day in 1775 when the first battles took place at the onset of the American Revolution.

As children, we all loved Patriot's Day. Parades were held in the city and the suburbs commemorating the event. A rider dressed like Paul Revere would carry the news that "The Regulars are coming!" Of course, we weren't too concerned in the 20th century about British soldiers coming down Mass Ave. If they did, we'd have likely cheered them on instead of fleeing. :)

But it was both a celebration and a memorial to the brave men—simple farmers—who made a stand against the greatest army in the world of that time. The outcome shocked the world and birthed the great country of the United States of America.

When I was young, it didn't occur to me that the very road down which the bands played and the floats sailed upon, was the very route that the British Army actually trod. It was a journey that began an eight year war.

                                                        *     *     *     *     *

Beginning in Boston the night of April 18, 1775, over 1,000 British soldiers marched their way to Concord where supplies of Colonial gunpowder were hidden. On the way, they were confronted by the brave men of Lexington. The first shots were fired and the first fatalities occurred.

Buckman Tavern, Gathering Place of the Lexington Militia
The soldiers continued their march to Concord and were surprised by the increasing numbers of Colonial militia who were bent on stopping the King's Army. Two British soldiers were killed and then buried near Concord Bridge.
The aggressive Minute Men intimidated the British forces the entire way back to Boston. Fighting Indian-style, the American militia hid behind stone walls and trees and killed numerous enemy soldiers along the way. The King's Army became more enraged by the moment. By the time they reached Menotomy Village (now Arlington, MA), reinforcements for the Brits had arrived. The worst Battle of the day occurred at the home of farmer Jason Russell.
Jason Russell House, Arlington, MA



More deaths occurred at this site than any other battlefield that day, April 19, 1775.

                                                           *     *     *     *     *

When I was a child celebrating Patriot's Day every year, I never knew that the house on the corner just one block away from my home, held the story of the worst battle that occurred that first day of the Revolution.

I often thought about that house after I grew up and decided to discover the secrets that lay within its walls. The story that I uncovered was an amazing and heartbreaking tale of love, loyalty and demise. It was an incident hidden from the history books, just waiting to be revealed. I decided to be the storyteller of the Russell family and the community that took a stand for freedom from tyranny.

And thus was birthed Fields of the Fatherless, Winner of the the 2014 Selah Award for YA Fiction; Winner of the 2014 Next Generation Book Award, Religious Fiction; and Winner of the 2014 Moonbeam Children's Book Award, Best YA Religious Fiction.

To celebrate Patriot's Day, I am giving away two gifts—a signed copy of Fields of the Fatherless and a box of eight cards of the Doolittle prints that depict the battles of April 19, 1775—to a reader who leaves a comment on this blog. I will do a drawing for those who leave their email address and announce the winner on Friday, April 22.




35 comments:

  1. Thanks for the info and the photos. I have to admit that remembering Patriot's Day wasn't part of my tradition growing up in the northern mid-west. What a cool regional celebration you grew up with! twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Pegg. I think I assumed everyone celebrated the day until I moved away from Massachusetts. My husband grew up in CA and never heard of such a celebration! But it is actually the weekend the Boston Marathon is held every year, another fact that most around the country are unaware of. You are entered in the drawing. Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
  2. What a great article. Sadly, I was not even aware of Patriot's Day until reading this.So glad I read this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you read it as well, Cynthia. I don't think you are alone. Most Americans are not aware of the celebration, which of course, prompts me to share about it! Thanks so much for commenting. You are entered in the drawing. :)

      Delete
  3. Elaine, thanks for sharing information and photos and about Boston's Patriot's Day celebrations. We don't celebrate it here in MD.

    Congratulations on your book Fields of the Fatherless. I have read it so am not entering the contest. It is an amazing book.
    Blessings,Tina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Mrs. Tina. Happy to share with everyone about the little known story of Menotomy Village. So glad you liked "Fields of the fatherless."

      Delete
  4. thank you for the history and great message today. Some people in MA thinks its another day off and that's a shame, this needs to be taught in school

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a shame, Elaine! I would think in MA the story should be well-known and taught in school. Lots of history gets lost when curriculum changes. All the more reason to spread the news about "Fields of the Fatherless." Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
  5. I loved reading the article and learning facts that I was not aware of. That is why history is so fascinating. Thanks for giving me an insight into Patriot's Day. It's hard to believe what happened so many years ago. I can't imagine what that day must have been like but it set a course thst changed our history and will be forever remembered.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed, Deana. It definitely changed our history and, without keeping Americans informed, we all too quickly forget the sacrifice. Thanks so much for commenting!

      Delete
  6. This is really interesting. I've never heard of Patriots' Day. I love history and particularly the early history of our country. Your book sounds great! I love the cover and the title.
    may_dayzee(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am a history lover as well, Kay! And the beginnings of our country is a particular favorite of mine as well. Thanks for your kind words about the cover. And the title comes from Proverbs 23:10. Thanks for entering the drawing!

      Delete
  7. Thank you so much, Elaine. How sad for the young people of our great country that Patriot Day is not a part of their education (It wasn't part of mine, either!). As a teacher I am going to include Patriot Day as a classroom celebration each April!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so excited you'll be including Patriot's Day in your curriculum! It's such a blessing when teachers keep relevant history alive. Thanks for commenting.

      Delete
    2. And thank you, Mrs. Ward for sharing this with all the teachers at our school. I learned a great deal reading the article and will be sharing with my family as well.

      Delete
    3. I am so blessed that you all are sharing this in your school. If you ever want to include "Fields of the Fatherless" in your curriculum, I'd be happy to do a Skype with your class. Just email me at elainemariecooper (at) yahoo (dot) com.

      Delete
  8. Such rich history! My husband and I went to Philadelphia a few years ago and I cried when I stepped onto the cobblestone area surrounding Independence Hall. It was a moving experience to stand where so many fought for our freedom. I would love to read your book! And the cards would be a perfect addition to my card ministry for USAF Airman.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean about the emotion felt when visiting the sites of our country's heritage. It definitely stirs one's heart. And as a military mom, I am deeply touched that you would minister to our brave men and women in uniform. Thank you!!

      Delete
  9. Thank you for keeping our history alive.
    Let us hope that the bravery and fortitude of first patriots are never forgotten

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen to that, Gene. We should never forget the sacrifice of so many to whom we owe our thanks. Thanks so much for commenting!

      Delete
  10. Your story, Fields of the Fatherless, was so moving. It takes the reader right back to those incredible days that birthed our nation.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you so much, Janet. It was a blessing to write this book and I pray it will help many understand the gratitude that we owe to our forefathers. Thanks for commenting!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm just beginning to study the Revolution in depth, and your description adds a poignant undertone to what I'm reading. How fortunate you are to live so near that historical site. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting, Gloria. Sadly, my Dad's job transferred us to the West Coast when I was 16. I've been back to MA for visits several times but haven't lived there in quite awhile. But the memories of my childhood linger on. :)

      Delete
  13. My family lived in Virginia for some time and I graduated from high school there. My father worked as the art illustrator at the Quarter Master Museum at Fort Lee. We spent many summer vacations visiting battlefields and museums about the history of our land. I love this history, but I haven't delved so deep into it as you have, Elaine. To walk into old houses and forts just sends my mind spinning, trying to grasp the stories echoing inside the walls. My wild imagination would take over, and I'd be stuck standing in one room seeing "characters". Ha. My brothers and parents would wander to another room, calling back to me, "Come on, Karen. Why are you just standing there?" Why, indeed? There's stories floating around!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karen, I can so relate to your "wild imagination" and the stories coming to life in your mind! I used to wonder why I day dreamed so much. I didn't realize it was the mind of a writer taking shape. :) Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
  14. Fascinating post! Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Caryl, you are so welcome! Glad you enjoyed it. :)

      Delete
  15. Enjoyed your interesting post, pictures, and learning more about the history of our country - thank you, Elaine!!

    Would love to read 'Fields of the Fatherless', Elaine - thanks for the giveaway opportunity!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bonnie, so happy you were swept up in this history! I'll be doing the giveaway shortly after I pick a name. :)

      Delete
  16. Renae B.Vander SchaafApril 22, 2016 at 11:01 AM

    Elaine Marie Cooper, thank you for sharing this. I didn't realize there was a Patriot's Day and it was so well remembered. Out here on the Iowa plains we have this American liberty because of those brave men and women who gave so unselfishly for generations to come.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I enjoyed your post today.. very interesting! thank you...
    dkstevensneAToutlook DOtCo M

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So happy you enjoyed the post, Deanna! Thanks so much for commenting.

      Delete
  18. Its neat that you got all of the history. Its neat that you wrote the book Fields of the Fatherless God bless you
    Chris Granville
    granville@frontiernet.net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel privileged to have discovered the history, Chris. And God bless you, as well. :)

      Delete

Thanks for commenting, please check back for our replies!