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Happy Fourth!

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This monument is at the site of the Old North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts.  Ralph Waldo Emerson, who lived just down the road, immortalized the battle in his Concord Hymn:

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 today a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those heroes dare,
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.

In early September 1785, the future First Lady Abigail Smith Adams wrote to Elizabeth Cranch: "Let me recommend to you my dear Girl to make yourself perfect mistress of the History of your own Country if you are not so allready [sic]; no one can be sufficiently thankfull [sic] for the Blessings they enjoy, unless they know the value of them."

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