BY The Rude Bridge That Arched The Flood

While I might be accused of being an insurrectionist for remembering that today is the 237th anniversary of the stand that our forefathers took at the Lexington Green and the Concord Bridge, I think it is worth remembering their stand and the ultimate sacrifice paid by militiamen of Massachusetts.

One of the better ways of remembering them is to participate in the Appleseed Project of the Revolutionary War Veterans Association. For those that are unfamiliar with the Appleseed Project, it is dedicated to teaching both riflery and history. According to those who have participated such as Bob Owens and Sean Sorrentino, the experience is well worth the effort. As Bob notes, it is “affordable, enjoyable and empowering.”

To learn more about the Revolutionary War Veterans Association and the Appleseed Project, go here.

I saw a couple of their billboards in Illinois while attending the NRA Annual Meeting last week. One was at the base of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Bridge and was co-sponsored by ISRA. The other was on Interstate 57 near Rend Lake. It was a pleasure to see both of them in a state which seeks to put up as many roadblocks to lawful firearm ownership as does Illinois.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, philosopher and writer, commemorated the event with his poem Concord Hymn. Unlike many modern day intellectuals, Emerson was not ashamed to show his patriotism. The poem was first read on July 4th, 1837 to mark the erection of the Concord Monument.

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 to-day 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.

Appleseed Responds to the New York Times

Yesterday, the New York Times ran an article with pictures and a video on the Appleseed Project. As others have commented, for the Times it was remarkably balanced. In other words, they didn’t condemn gun owners as bloodthirsty savages. They did, however, try to associate the Appleseed Project with the Tea Party movement, militias, and anti-government sorts.

The Appleseed Project has responded with a detailed rebuttal to the Times story. It is worth reading the whole thing.

To summarize their rebuttal, they make five major points.

First, Appleseed is not “militia”. They note Appleseed only offers instruction in rifle marksmanship and in the history of the American Revolution. They do not stress nor teach military or small unit tactics.

Second, Appleseed is not just “white”.

Appleseed is filled with students and instructors of all races, creeds, genders, and identities. We make no distinction for color, religion, sexual preference, political beliefs or any other discriminatory category. Our program is comprised at all levels of all Americans, and we explicitly urge all Americans to come. We have no patience for those who would take this great nation and divide it up by race, or who would single out someone else for ridicule or derision.

Third, Appleseed is not anti-government, anti-military, or anti-law enforcement.

Appleseed has zero tolerance for anti-government, anti-military, or anti-law enforcement attitudes, comments or advocates. To the contrary, we offer free spots on our shooting lines for active duty military personnel and have been called onto military bases to teach troops deploying for overseas duty in combat theaters.

Fourth, Appleseed is not “right wing”. They note they have no interest in partisan politics and have attracted students from across the political spectrum.

Finally, Appleseed doesn’t have some “secret plan.”

We wish we had a Secret Plan to get more people involved but we don’t. There is no inner group, no special level, no wizard behind the curtain. There is only this: Our ancestors were left with two paths: submission or bloodshed. They chose the latter so that we could be left with a third path: citizenship and civic participation. To take this third path we must get off the couch, turn off the TV, and get involved in our communities. Those who would blather about a “choice” between submission and bloodshed in modern American do not understand what American was meant to be, or is.

Civic participation is not our secret plan. It is our openly stated mission.

I wish them luck in getting their rebuttal published in the New York Times. After all, it is the Times who decides what is the news fit to print – not the rest of us.

For a better review of the Appleseed Project, I suggest reading Massad Ayoob’s review of it in Backwoods Home magazine. Mas not only participated but was awarded his Rifleman Patch.