Monday, April 17, 2017, is Patriots' (plural possessive) Day in Massachusetts and Patriot's (singular possessive) Day in Maine. State and local government offices in Massachusetts and Maine will be closed, as will some businesses.
"Listen, my children and you shall hear
of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five."
"You know the rest. In the books you have read,
How the British Regulars fired and fled--"
And that morning of April 19 officially marks the beginning of the American War of Independence. In Massachusetts and Maine (part of Massachusetts until 1820, when, under the "Missouri Compromise" Maine, a free State was admitted to the Union, paired with Missouri, a slave State) we celebrate it as Patriots'/Patriot's Day, and, like Revere, take to the road – a renowned twenty-six miles of road from Hopkinton to Boston.
At the original Marathon, 26 miles from Athens, Greece, free, Democratic, Western civilization faced and defeated the forces of absolutism. It is a battle that has been fought many times. It will be fought many more times. Freedom must always be prepared to fight just to be free.
On September 11, 2001, after the unprovoked terrorists' attacks on thousands of innocent, unsuspecting civilians, President George W. Bush spoke of why we were attacked, and why we shall prevail: "America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining."
Our patriot forefathers (and every America is a Son of Liberty, regardless of when your people came here) knew that freedom is worth fighting for. This Patriots' Day let's reflect on the cause of freedom, and thank the brave American men and women who, in every war from the Revolution to our current engagements in the Near and Middle East, have made it possible for us to enjoy this April 17th as a free people.