And it did begin right there, at Lexington . The great American poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, later wrote of that moment:
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 .
Of course the sound wasn't actually heard. But the poet knew what he was writing. Because this fight, which was just beginning, would have a purpose and meaning that would echo and re-echo around the globe. Its message was one of freedomand that "all men are created equal"and that idea would resonate worldwide.
On that April day in Lexington twice as many redcoats fell as minutemen. It was the day the battle really began. And no one that day quite realized how hard it would be. There is always more to war than winning or losing, as Mrs. Isaac Davis of Massachusetts learned painfully: "Isaac Davis was my husband.... We had four children.... The alarm was given early in the morning, and my husband lost no time in making ready to go to Concord with his company.... He seemed serious and thoughtful; but never seemed to hesitate.... He only said, 'Take good care of the children.' In the afternoon he was brought home a corpse ."