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“Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.”

On this day, some 240 years ago, John Parker, Captain of Militia, uttered those instructions to his men as they stood on Lexington Green, ready, if need be, to engage 500 British troops set to sieze the militia’s arsenal.


Print available here

What may have begun as a show of force on the side of the militia soon became an active firefight as the British advance guard met a percieved provocation with demands to disperse. The fog of war set in and a firefight soon broke out. The Colonist militia quickly gained the upper hand and drove a British force which over the course of the day had grown to 1700, all the way back to Charlestown and beyond. What wouod ultimately become the siege of Boston, happened over a year before the Declaration of Independence.
Map: National Park Service

We owe these men our very nation. Their sheer determination in the face of tyranny embodies the American spirit. Please join me in honoring their memory this Patriot’s Day.

16 Responses to ““Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.””

  1. Austin says:

    “A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.”
    -John F. Kennedy

  2. orly? says:

    Would this count as the first restrictive ROE order of the nation?

  3. Evets Steve says:

    The modern mistake is assuming that those who are good at digging holes (insurgency/revolution/wrecking shit) must be equally good at filling the holes in (counter insurgency/stability ops) just because both functions use a shovel.

  4. Patrick says:

    Ranger Up (a veteran owned clothing company) has a shirt with that top quote on it. I’ve always enjoyed that quote/shirt.

  5. majrod says:

    SSD – Thanks for commemorating this event. “Red lines” meant something back then.

  6. bulldog76 says:

    Also lil known fact theres only three units allowed to have the lexington and concord streamer all of which are national guard units

  7. serpenthammer says:


    I did my part to honor these first Americans by taking part in a 13 shot volley salute at 1:00 pm PST alongside other patriotic Americans @ an Appleseed Project event held over the weekend. Truly modern day patriots who hold the tradition of keeping the revolutionary spirit and fervor alive.

    • SSD says:

      That’s awesome! My sons joined you in that volley here on the East coast.

      • serpenthammer says:

        What an honor it was to fire that volley with your sons to honor the first martyrs of the American revolution. The weekend allowed me to personalize what our first Americans had to endure to ensure the freedoms we now enjoy. Thank you SSD for passing such a precious gift of learning and rediscovering this precious heritage to your sons this weekend. Huzah ! Huzah ! Huzah !

  8. Stefan S. says:

    Lets not forget the main intent of General Gage was to seize militia arms and ammunition. With the current gun control zealots on the left, history may well repeat itself.

  9. Cp says:

    Having stood on the Green, it’s sobering. Today, it is so peaceful and quiet and it is maintained to remain as close to how it was 200 years ago. There’s are even “original” buildings still standing (more rebuilt, obviously). If you have a chance to go, do it.

  10. CV76 says:

    Huzzah! Most states have no idea what Patriots Day is. I never heard of it until I was in Maine one time and they told me about the holiday, and I have spent my life in the South.

  11. kayaker says:

    Awesome We try to be at the North bridge or the Lex Green Every Year on this day. The fight at the bloody angle too. Boston Marathon has eclipsed improtance of this day here. (Way before the bombing) I rarely hear it Called Partriots day in the Boston press, it is now called “Marathon Monday”.. too bad.