This past weekend America celebrated Memorial Day to remember those who have given their lives in defense of Liberty. Nearly everything I see and hear from the media goes no further back in our history than WWII. I want to remind America of the first men who died in defense of our nation. They were the men who stood on Lexington Common on April 19, 1775. Those men were standing in front of their church. They were trained by their pastor, Rev. Jonas Clarke and commanded by their elder, John Parker. John Parker has a stone in his honor at Lexington inscribed with "if they mean to have a war let it begin here." The men who stood their ground on that day were not just white men but free black men as well. Prince Estabrook, "a negroe," was wounded in the first volley, yet he continued to fight throughout the day and served with distinction for the duration of the war.
The night before the battle, John Hancock and Samuel Adams were at the home of Rev. Clarke. John Hancock asked Jonas Clarke if his men would fight? Rev. Clarke responded, "Will they fight? I have trained them for this very moment."
When the 320 British Regulars attacked the 70-militia men at 4:30 a.m. that morning, they charged at a full run with bayonets leveled. Major Pitcairn, leading them on, ordered the rebels to lay down their arms and disperse in the name of the King. John Parker is reported to have responded with "we recognize no King but Jesus." Major Pitcairn then fired his pistol as he gave the order for a full volley to be fired.
A monument was erected in honor of these men in 1799. It contains the inscription written by Rev. Clarke:
Sacred to Liberty & the Rights of mankind!!!
The Freedom & Independence of America,
Sealed & defended with the blood of her sons.
This Monument is erected
By the inhabitants of Lexington,
Under the patronage & at the expense, of
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts,
To the memory of their Fellow Citizens,
Ensign Robert Munroe, & Messrs. Jonas Parker,
Samuel Hadley, Jonathan Harrington Jr.,
Isaac Muzzy, Caleb Harrington and John Brown,
Of Lexington, & Asahel Porter of Woburn,
Who fell on this field, the first Victims to the
Sword of British Tyranny & Oppression,
On the morning of the ever memorable
Nineteenth of April, An. Dom. 1775.
The Die was cast!!!
The Blood of these Martyrs,
In the cause of God & their Country,
Was the Cement of the Union of these States, then
Colonies; & gave the spring to the spirit, Firmness
And resolution of their Fellow Citizens.
They rose as one man, to revenge their brethren's
Blood, and at the point of the sword, to assert &
Defend their native Rights.
They nobly dar'd to be free!!
The contest was long, bloody & affecting.
Righteous Heaven approved the solemn appeal;
Victory crowned their arms;
and The Peace, Liberty & Independence of the United
States of America, was their Glorious Reward.
Built in the year 1799.
General Marquis de Lafayette in his visit to America in 1824, had this to say about that day when he was honored with a reception at his visit to Lexington on September 2:
"The General, with great sensibility, expressed his warmest thanks for the flattering attention he had received from the people of Lexington, the satisfaction and pleasure he felt in standing upon the soil consecrated by the blood of patriots to the glorious cause of freedom throughout the world, and the high gratification he experienced in beholding the surviving remnant of that heroic band [14 survivors of that day present], which here inaugurated that resistance to tyrants which is obedience to God."
"From this day will be dated the liberty of the world," said Rev. Jonas Clarke.
A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. - Amendment 2 of the U.S. Constitution
Jeff Wallace, is a former Mississippi state representative candidate, and in his book "In God We Trusted" he explores the contradictions between his state's constitution and what the courts say about the separation of church and state. He believes in challenging people to seek out information and educate themselves about their country.
He is the winner of 2010 Christian Choice Book Award for his first book and holds an associate degree in theology from Way College of Biblical Research. For more than three decades he has been involved in non-denominational Christian outreach and teaching ministries and is married with two sons. For more information, visit http://2peter120.com/
"In God We Trusted"
By Jeff Wallace
Available in softcover and e-book
Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and CrossBooks