"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
The American Experience last night focused on the Patriots Day re-enactors, Minutemen and Redcoats, who bring the Battle of Lexington Green to life every April 19th. Our favorite scenes came when the British troops in wigs and bearskin hats marched off the battlefield to board chartered yellow school buses that would ferry them to the next round of hostilities, against colonial militia hiding behind bushes and stone walls and relaying strategy via walkie-talkie. It was a good show: the re-enactors are very articulate, and dedicated to the accurate and respectful conveyance of proud tradition.
We attended the Patriots Day parade yesterday morning in Concord, where history is always very much alive and the 19th of April is a high point of the year. As a succession of fife-and-drum corps marched up Stow Street past the baseball players on the old Emerson school fields, it occurred to me it would be hard to picture a more All-American scene. It was great fun to fall in behind the Singing Doughboys at parade's end and walk through the Milldam, past the crowds lining the sidewalks and flags fluttering at Main and Walden, to Monument Square.
The oration given by George William Curtis on the occasion of the Concord Fight Centennial in 1875 might as easily have been delivered yesterday:
WE are fortunate that we behold this day. The heavens bend benignly over, the earth blossoms with renewed life, and our hearts beat joyfully together with one emotion of filial gratitude and patriotic exultation. Citizens of a great, free, and prosperous country, we come hither to honor the men, our fathers, who, on this spot and upon this day, a hundred years ago, struck the first blow in the contest which made that country independent. Here beneath the hills they trod, by the peaceful river on whose shores they dwelt, amid the fields that they sowed and reaped, proudly recalling their virtue and their valor, we come to tell their story, to try ourselves by their lofty standard to know if we are their worthy children; and, standing reverently where they stood and fought and died, to swear before God and each other, in the words of him upon whom in our day the spirit of the revolutionary fathers visibly descended, that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth…
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Now comes Michael Moore, who declares the Islamist lynch mobs and suicide bombers of Fallujah the good-guy equivalents of the Minutemen of Lexington and Concord.