The Meaning of Patriots’ Day…

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Today’s post is to honor those affected by the tragic event that took place in Boston on April 15th, Patriots’ Day…

Massachusetts and Maine observe Patriots’ Day on the third Monday of every April.  Patriots’ Day commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775 which was the start of the American Revolutionary War.   Prior to 1775, the area that is now the eastern part of the United States mainly consisted of British colonies controlled by the United Kingdom. The American Revolutionary War was a major step in the independence of the United States. The first battles in this war were fought in the areas of Lexington and Concord, near Boston, Massachusetts, on April 19, 1775.  For this reason, the third Monday in April is symbolic for the emerging independence of the new country.

Paul Revere is among the patriots who are remembered on Patriots’ Day. The American silversmith is known for spreading the word of the Boston Tea Party to New York and Philadelphia, and for warning the Lexington Minutemen about the British invasion in 1775. The story of his “midnight” ride to Lexington to discuss action plans against the British has been poeticized.  With a clatter of horse hooves, Paul Revere rides from Boston, shouting warnings that British soldiers are on the march.

The Boston Marathon, the world’s oldest annual marathon, is run each year on Patriots’ Day.

Along with various events around the city, Bostonians celebrate the battles of Lexington and Concord in a touching act of community, a marathon in which strangers cheer on strangers, and runners push themselves toward the finish line with charming grit.

On April 15, 2013, Patriots’ Day, as I watched the events unfold on television, I saw rescuers running towards the wounded in acts of true heroism.

In the end, the terrorist(s) will fail because Bostonians did not turn from their fellow citizen — they turned toward them. And that is the real root of mankind.

Patriots’ Day.  It is a day that celebrates the free and fiercely independent spirit of us all.

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Nemo 2013…

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“Nemo, newcomer of orange and white, you have been called forth to the summit of Mt. Wannahockaloogie to join with us in the fraternal bonds of tankhood!”

The Weather Channel announced last November that during the upcoming winter season they would begin naming noteworthy winter storms.  Their reason:  “to better communicate the threat and the timing of the significant impacts that accompany these events. The fact is, a storm with a name is easier to follow, which will mean fewer surprises and more preparation.”  The Weather Channel also pointed out:

  • Naming a storm raises awareness.  (Really?)
  • Attaching a name makes it much easier to follow a weather system’s progress.  (I’m pretty sure I decided to follow the storm when they said we’d get over a foot of snow).
  • A storm with a name takes on a personality all its own, which adds to awareness.  (Uh, yeah, Nemo, doesn’t sound like a storm to me)
  • In today’s social media world, a name makes it much easier to reference in communication.  (Okay, I guess saying “Nemo” on my Facebook posts was a lot easier than saying “The Blizzard os 2013”)
  • A named storm is easier to remember and refer to in the future.  (You got me on this one… if you say “Nemo” to me 10 years from now I’ll most definitely remember this storm.  But I’m sure I’ll remember it if you also just reference “blizzard”, “snow” and “2013” in one sentence)

So, I’m not really sure if naming this storm that arrived on my doorstep last week helped me better prepare.  What I do know is that when the weatherman says we can expect over 2 feet of snow in blizzard conditions, I’m gonna prepare.  Calling the storm “Nemo” didn’t make me rush to store faster.  Heck, I was at the store buying milk, counting my flashlights, digging out batteries and checking my generator before I even knew this storm had a name.

Nemo hit us hard up here in the Northeast.  In my town we received 35.5 inches.  For me, not only was this my first experience dealing with this much snow and a blizzard to boot, it was my first time going  through a major storm by myself.  You see, husband is still on a grandiose adventure patrolling our waters.  What this means is that I, alone, with three kids and a dog, had to:

  • Ensure the house was set up should we lose power (flashlights, generator, all electronics charged).
  • The kids had enough entertainment to keep them busy… and me sane.
  • Break out the shovel and get ready to burn some serious calories.
  • Remind myself how to plow using our old, yet loyal, truck.

When all was said and done we survived the wrath of Nemo.  It was a lot of shoveling and plowing.  And as much as I wanted to complain about how “easy” my husband had it since he was away and didn’t have to deal with this mess, I didn’t.  I was actually glad I went through this storm alone.  I taught myself, and my kids, that mom is just as tough as dad, and can get down and dirty to ensure the safety of our family.  If that means walking through 3 feet snowdrifts to dig out heater vents in the back of the house, I will do it.  If it means, after a long day of shoveling and plowing non-stop, going out and helping the kids make massive hills for sledding, I will do it.

We would all do it.  Whether it’s a storm or some other hardship we all would do whatever it takes to keep our family safe.

Besides, my worst nightmare would be to be out in the ocean with 25-foot waves pounding on steel.

And, in the end, my reward… a nicely plowed driveway, from yours truly!

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