On April 19, 1775, approximately 80 Lexington Militia lead by John Parker stood in parade formation on the Lexington Green as British Regulars approached on their way to Concord. The British were marching to Concord in hopes of confiscating a store of arms they believed would be found there and, if possible, to arrest Samuel Adams and John Hancock.
Parker wisely chose to deploy his men on the Lexington Green so as not to imped the British on their march or force a confrontation. To the British, however, their presence was a challenge that could not be ignored.
Who fired the first shot that day is forever lost in time, but the words of John Parker will live forever. For me they speak to the very nature of the American character. For me there were no Americans before such men were willing to stand and fight for freedom.
“Stand your ground; don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.” ~ John Parker, April 19, 1775