Happy birthday Oath Keepers! On April 19, 2009, we stood on Lexington Green and renewed our oaths to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. What an incredible experience. That was our official launch date for this org. How time flies.
Watch a video of those events here:
April 19 is a day that should be celebrated by all Americans as the anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord. Unfortunately, Obama (and the rest of the American political elite) totally ignored this day in American history, while Obama did go out of his way to write a message for Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is also April 19. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2012/04/obama-honors-holocaust-remembrance-day/1#.T5B3EdkcWcM
I have no problem with remembering the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, which was April 19, 1942 (funny how so many important dates in history fall on April 19). I have written before about what a great example of resistance to evil that desperate and brave stand was. But I think it is a shame that the political class totally ignores our own American heritage of Lexington and Concord, and the kick off of our history changing Revolution on April 19, 1775, but have multiple speeches and events on this day to remember the Holocaust. (Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner also presided over a ceremony at the Capitol: http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/tg1541.aspx
And, of course, it is absurd that Obama, a man who claims exactly the same totalitarian powers of life and death over Americans that Hitler enjoyed over Germans, is now pontificating on the need to remember the crimes of the Nazis, and urges us to commit to make “never again” a reality. What a joke. A sick joke. Pot, meet kettle. I will write more on that Monday.
Anyway, this is the birthday of Oath Keepers, which is now three years old, but also, I think, the birthday of our Republic, which I submit was truly born on April 19, 1775, when the embattled farmers stood, and fired the shot heard round the world. Our republic was born on that day, in a baptism of hot lead, cold steel, sweat, blood, tears, and the fire of fierce hearts (most of them veterans) who kicked the crap out of the Red Coats all the way from Concord Bridge back to Boston. On that day, men like Samuel Whittmore, an eighty year old veteran (see his story below), showed the bloody “lobster backs” how free men could fight, and die if need be, with courage, resolve, and skill.
The Declaration of Independence is our Republic’s birth certificate, but the actual birth was on that critical day in human history, on that sacred ground, at Lexington Green, Concord Bridge, and all along Battle Road, back to Boston. That day, that history changing stand against tyranny, deserves to be respected, revered, and remembered by all Americans. It is our Thermopylae. And it is disgusting, and a shame, to see how the political elites, media, and weenie bureaucrats in DC want to snuff out and erase all memory of that day.
But we will not forget. And we will remind all our brother veterans of our legacy of resistance to tyranny, and our legacy of kicking butt on ANYONE who would subjugate us. Our forefathers took on the world super-power of their day, and handed them their asses. May God grant us half their courage and wisdom. If so, liberty will be preserved.
Below is an article I wrote for SWAT Magazine to commemorate April 19. I hope you enjoy it. Please pass it on to others, and feel free to repost wherever you like (SWAT Magazine generously gave permission to repost, so long as it is noted that it originally appeared in SWAT).
Oath Keepers, I want you all to know just how honored I am to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you, to stand in the breach in this dark hour, in defense of all our war dead fought and died to secure, in defense of our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, and especially our Bill of Rights. And I want you to know how grateful I am for all of you. Just knowing that America STILL can produce such patriots, such SONS OF THE REPUBLIC (and daughters), gives me the strength to carry on, and helps to steel my own resolve when I might otherwise despair. And I know all of the members of our national Board of Directors, and all of our state chapter leaders, feel the same. We salute you all, and we are honored to call you our brothers and sisters.
Today is our day. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. No one can snuff that out. So long as we draw breath, we shall remember. And our sons and daughters will follow in our footsteps.
For the Republic,
Remember the Spirit of April 19, 1775
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.
– Concord Hymn, Ralph Waldo Emerson
Each April 19, do you honor the farmers who stood in defiance at Lexington and Concord and then beat the hell out of the British Regulars all the way back to Boston? One of the best ways to honor their memory, while preserving your heritage and passing it down to your kids and grandkids, is to take your family to one of the Appleseed rifle shoots being held across the country. Visit www.rwva.org for more info.
Isaac Davis: Yea, Though I Walk Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death
Perhaps you know the name of Isaac Davis, the militia captain and gunsmith who fell in the first volley at Concord Bridge, leaving behind a wife and four ill children. But did you know that Davis was convinced that he would die if it came to a fight because a few days before the battle a large owl, a symbol of death, had flown into his home and perched on his favorite gun? And yet, as his wife recalled, “the alarm was given early in the morning, and my husband lost no time in making ready to go to Concord with his company … My husband said but little that morning. He seemed serious and thoughtful, but never seemed to hesitate. He only said ‘take good care of the children,’ and was soon out of sight.” Those were his last words to his wife. However, despite his premonition of death, when Davis was asked if he was afraid to march down into Concord to defend the town, he replied “No, I am not and I haven’t a man that is!”
Samuel Whittemore: A Dangerous Old Man Goes to War
The price of freedom is the willingness to do sudden battle, anywhere, any time and with utter recklessness. – Robert A. Heinlein
When eighty-year old farmer Samuel Whittemore, a veteran of the French Indian War, saw the approaching Regulars, he left his plow and, to the astonishment of his family, strapped on his prized dueling pistols and a captured French sword, grabbed his musket, and stepped out to make war one last time. Whittemore ambushed the column at close range, firing first with his musket, and then drawing his dueling pistols. He fired a total of five shots, killing three regulars and wounding another before being overrun. He then drew his sword and attacked. He was shot in the face at close range and bayoneted thirteen times and left for dead. When his grieving family came to collect his body, they were amazed to find him still alive and attempting to reload his musket for a parting shot at the now distant column.
Whittemore said he fought because he wanted his children to live without being subject to a distant King. Some have questioned his tactics, but never his resolve. Perhaps he felt he was just too old to “run and gun” with the others and chose to make his shots count, at close range. Or, perhaps, at the ripe old age of eighty, he had decided “today is a good day to die.” Despite his grievous wounds, he survived and lived another eighteen years, dying of natural causes at the age of ninety-eight.
At Bunker (Breed’s) Hill, another “dangerous old man” was overheard saying a prayer before the Regulars made their first charge. Was the old man asking God to keep him safe in the coming battle? No. He was down on his knees thanking God for preserving him long enough so that he could fight that day. That is the spirit of a free man who understands the big picture – that none of us gets out of here alive, and what counts most is whether we leave our children free.
Do We Still Have it In Us?
Some say we modern Americans have lost our hardness, our fire, and are not the men our forefathers were. They say we are no longer willing to pay the price of freedom Heinlein spoke of and will go out with a whimper rather than a bang in the face of tyranny. Such critics are making the same mistake our enemies have made throughout our history – confusing the American love of peace, prosperity, and our respect for the rule of law, with weakness.
Parliament and the British Officer Corps made that mistake back in 1775, convinced that the colonists were “cowardly and would never fight the Crown.” Major General Alured Clarke famously declared “that with a thousand British grenadiers he would undertake to go from one end of American to the other and geld all the males, partly by force and partly with a little coaxing.”
General Hugh Percy shared that opinion – until he experienced the wrath of the Americans swarming around him on his retreat from Concord. Afterword, he wrote to General Harvey, in England:
“… during the whole affair the Rebels attacked us in a very scattered, irregular manner, but with perseverance and resolution, nor did they ever dare to form into any regular body. Indeed, they knew too well what was proper, to do so.
Whoever looks upon them as an irregular mob, will find himself much mistaken. They have men amongst them who know very well what they are about, having been employed as Rangers against the Indians and Canadians and this country being much covered with wood, and hilly, is very advantageous for their method of fighting. . . . “.
Likewise, the Imperial Japanese Army and the Nazis thought the 1940’s generation of Americans was soft and weak, only to find themselves very much mistaken. Simply because we love life and the blessings of prosperity does not mean we will not fight, and fight hard.
Yes, We Can!
Some think we no longer have it in us because we have put up with so much that presumably the Founding Generation would not have tolerated. But remember, for two full decades before Lexington and Concord the colonists tried to peaceably reconcile their disagreements with Parliament, protesting, petitioning, and filing court cases. As our Declaration says, “mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” The Founding Generation exhausted all peaceful means of redress – they tried to work within the system. But “when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government.” And that is precisely what they did, when Parliament finally attempted to disarm them.
Today, we too are striving to preserve our rights by peaceful means, working within the system, despite a “long train of abuses.” But that should not be mistaken for weakness or a lack of resolve. Just as the Founding Generation contained combat veterans who had learned much in the way of irregular warfare from their Indian foes, we too have among us tens of thousands of combat vets who have learned similar lessons and “who know very well what they are about.” Though many are aging, they are still most assuredly dangerous old men who should not be taken lightly.
This April 19, remember your heritage, and remember your own worth and measure. And remind yourself of what really matters most – that your children inherit a free country. – Stewart Rhodes