In 1836, 61 years after the beginning of America’s struggle for independence, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote “Concord Hymn” for the dedication of a battle monument in Concord, Massachusetts that commemorated the men, including his grandfather ,that fought in the Battle of Lexington and Concord. Began on April 19, 1775, it was the first battle of America’s Revolutionary War and “the shot heard around the world.”
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.
The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set to-day a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
Spirit, that made those spirits dare,
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.
I pray that we never forget those who paid so dearly for our freedom.
Have a safe, happy and respectful Independence Day. God bless America.