Put the Patriots Back Into Patriots’ Day

April 15, 2013

Here in Massachusetts, runners are lining up today for the world’s most famous marathon and government workers are taking a day off.

It’s Patriots’ Day (more commonly known as Patriot’s Day), a holiday observed only in Massachusetts and Maine.

The day commemorates the first battles of the Revolutionary War, which were fought in Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775.  It is celebrated on the third Monday in April, though, because government workers apparently prefer long weekends to historical accuracy.

Today, a “patriot” is defined as “One who loves, supports and defends one’s country,” but originally the term defined those who fought the British in the Revolutionary War.  One definition of “patriot” is still, “A person actively opposing enemy forces occupying his or her country; a member of a resistance movement, a freedom fighter.”

Taxation Without Representation

Early Americans recognized that if they wanted freedom, they needed to fight for it.  Freedom, they recognized, was worth dying for.  The rallying slogan for the patriots was, “No taxation without representation."

Today, the freedoms that so many patriots died for are slowly eroding, as government becomes more powerful.  Taxation without representation is widely accepted, as state and federal legislators give special breaks to their favorite interest groups and attempt social engineering.

Fighting for freedom or for any other reason is no longer the American way.  We stand by as people in Syria are slaughtered by a dictator and do little as Iran steps closer and closer to being a nuclear power.

As Americans, we have much to be thankful for.  But we seem to have forgotten the importance of freedom and are allowing taxation without representation.

It’s no longer the British we need to be worried about.  It’s our own representatives in Congress, in state legislatures and in the White House.

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