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Aired April 19, 2004

Patriots Day

Lights! Camera! Revolution!

Film Description

The Revolutionary War may be over, but one of its best-known battles is still being fought. More than two centuries after the Lexington militiamen rallied against His Majesty's regulars at what would become known as the Battle of Lexingrton and Concord, sixty-five redcoats and sixty-seven colonial patriots face off each April 19 to bring to life the beginning of the American Revolution.

Patriots Day, a one-hour verité-style documentary from Marian Marzynski (Shtetl), follows reanactors as they prepare for and engage in this annual encounter.

The modern-day Lexington minute men and their British counterparts switch between centuries (eighteenth and twenty-first), roles (military and civilian), and allegiances (revolutionary and loyalist). They pride themselves on the authenticity of their uniforms and pay painstaking attention to recreating every detail of the battle. Yet the realities of twenty-first century life are undeniably part of the occasion. Chirping cell phones alert powdered-wig wearing commanders to troop movements. Big yellow school buses transport weary redcoats from one encounter with the revolutionaries to the next. Traditional uniforms are stitched on modern sewing machines. And all the while the cameras are rolling.

The historically white, male, Anglo-Saxon troops today include people like Kristen Acorn, a private in the British First Regiment of Footguards, and banker Henry Liu, who says, "I was concerned about being Asian, but everyone kept telling me, don't worry about it, just come celebrate the history with us." Charles Price honors his African American heritage by assuming the identity of Prince Estabrook, a slave who joins the militia with the hope of obtaining his freedom.

Mike Coppe, a pediatric dentist, joined the Lexington Minute Men twenty-three years ago, playing the part of militiaman Nathaniel Mulliken for twenty years, before switching sides to become one of King George's finest. Clinton Jackson, who had five relatives serve in the original American Revolution, finds gratification in the smallest details, such as the type of linen used in reenactors' uniforms: "It itches and scratches -- I not only look like this individual, I feel like him." Jackson also admits that engaging in the battle brings him something larger: "Just like everybody else in our society today, I am confused as to what the country stands for; whether the constitution really works; whether the government is straight or crooked. I have to find a reference point." Electrical engineer Paul O'Shaughnessy -- known to his troops as British Major John Pitcairn -- spends his weekdays as a manager at a biotech company, and his weekends trooping the colors and participating in military drills. "The twenty-first century slips away," he says. "There is just the smoke and the flames and the swords and bayonets. That is the moment you've been waiting for. It really is a magical thing."

In military terms, the original battle of Lexington and Concord was not a major encounter. But over the centuries it has assumed a near-mythical quality: witness Ralph Waldo Emerson's poem, Concord Hymm, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Paul Rever's Ride, Daniel Chester French's Minute Man statue, and the latest on the subject, historian David Hackett Fischer's book, Paul Revere's Ride. Then there are the thousands of people -- both tourists and New England natives -- who annually flock to the battle sites in Lexington and Concord to observe the early dawn reenactment of the conflict on the third Monday in April, a state holiday in Massachusetts since 1894. Says Marzynski, "Following the reenactors gave me a new perspective on patriotism and civic duty. Patriots Day celebrates these ordinary, inspired lives; their true, far from textbook, passion for history; their admiration for this country's humble beginning. Plus, they have so much fun doing it."


Written, Directed & Produced By
Marian Marzynski

Edited by
Bernice Schneider

Photographed by
Jason Longo

Thanks to the Lexington Minutemen and the British reenactors for their participation and dedication to this film.

Music by
John Kusiak

Jason O'Neill

Additional Sound
Brian Truolio
Eric Reisner

Sound Mixer
Richard Bock

Additional Photography
Brian Dowley

Associate Producers
Joshua Blechner
Jason Longo
Adriana Marino
Peter Rigney

On-line Editor
Bradley Greer

Matt Perrin

Color By
Cineworks Digital Studios
Miami, Florida

Special Thanks
David Hackett Fischer for the inspiration


Post Production
James E. Dunford
Greg Shea

Series Designer
Alison Kennedy

On-line Editor
Spencer Gentry

Sound Mix
John Jenkins

Series Theme
Mark Adler

Business Manager
John Van Hagen

Project Administration
Nancy Farrell
Vanessa Ruiz
Helen R. Russell
Rebekah Suggs

Jay Fialkov
Maureen Jordan

Director, New Media
Maria Daniels

Project Coordinator, New Media
Ravi Jain

Daphne B. Noyes
Johanna Baker
Leslie Sepuka

Coordinating Producer
Susan Mottau

Series Editor
Sharon Grimberg

Executive Producer
Mark Samels

A Marz Associates production for

©2004 WGBH Educational Foundation
All rights reserved.


Shot of British officer

British officer: Poise your firelocks!! Cock your firelocks!!

Cut to soldiers marching toward the camera slowly

Cut to rebel being arrested by British soldiers

Paul O'Shaughnessy: We are the government. This is an armed rebellion. What government would not try to disarm such an outrageous rebellion?

Cut to Paul in his basement with uniforms on racks

Paul: And all of the 21st century slips away and you actually are out there with your men and there is just the smoke and the flame and the swords and the bayonets and the horses and the whole thing, that is the moment that you've been waiting for.

Cut to shots of British officers at Niagara Fort being inspected

Militia being inspected

Wayne McCarthy: We know how it all came out. Those people standing on the green that day had no idea how it was going to turn out. All that they knew was that they were taking on their own culture and their own association as British subjects.

Militia marching

Cut to Loyalist woman and her dog

Rebecca: The rebels refuse to be civilized Englishman, they should be loyal to the king.

Cut to Coppe getting into his car, then driving

Cut to British bus

Soldiers: Huzzah!!

Cut to British soldiers marching

Colonial woman on cell phone

Rebecca: Okay, so everybody is all done with safety checks? Okay, [inaudible].

Clinton Jackson: What I am is a reenactor, somebody who feels as though it is important to understand the passion of what took place here.

Cut to shots of colonial soldiers getting ready for event

Cut to Paul marching

Paul:: I am hoping that we will not be opposed on the way.

Confrontation on the green

Paul:: Oh my God, what have we done?

Fade into roving shot of Lexington

TITLE: Patriots Day

CARD: On April 19 1775 the opening shots of the American Revolution were fired at the Battle of Lexington and Concord. Each spring, the historic event is reenacted on the Lexington Green.

Pan up on a brown house

Cut to Skip interview

Skip Hayward: On my dad's side, my eighth great grandfather came to New England in 1635 and actually settled Weymouth, Massachusetts. In fact, there is a Lovell's corner, down there that was named after him. His son fought at Dorchester Heights in Boston.

Cut to Skip walking into the meeting

Pan around shaking hands

Skip: It is a men's organization. It is a club. We call it a hobby. We're reenactors. We're living historians, and we enjoy each other's company as much as anything. The end result is history. It is pride in the beginning of this country as a nation. It's a sense of pride in what these men did on the Green.

Wayne: Gentlemen, 30 seconds!

Cut to outside Wayne's house

Cut to interview

Wayne: We are in no where near as good a shape as they were in. They worked very hard in the fields. Most people today, even those that work at very demanding labor, have labor-saving devices that have been invented since then, so for our part, we actually have to physically work at being in good enough shape to pretend to portray these characters.

Lexington Minute Men meeting

Cut to saying pledge as group

Wayne, then Group: We shall be ready to sacrifice our estates, and everything dear in life.

Exterior of Clinton's house

Then to his wife with Clinton in background

Clinton's wife: The 18th century plays a big role in his life. He wants to get to know the hobby, he wants to meet people. He wants to finish the work that he starts.

Close up Clinton working on sewing, cut back to wife

Clinton's wife: This, in particular, his sewing and making uniforms.

Clinton, from the background: I hate loose ends, loose ends drive me absolutely crazy.

On to close up of Clinton working on sewing machine

Clinton: I am a part of a family that arrived here in 1620 and on Mayflowers 1, 2 and 3. I had five relatives that served in the American Revolution, and a great, great, great, great aunt. Linen, something we take for granted, but unfortunately at this particular time the right linen comes from Russia. It takes a while to get it, and you might ask, "why am I wearing a fabric that's so difficult to come by?" and the answer is because it itches and scratches and I perspire exactly the same way that somebody would have under these weather conditions, and I can then say to you not only do I look like this individual, I feel like him and I am reacting exactly the same way that that somebody might have reacted again given these conditions.

Cut to Clinton walking with his wife by Green

Clinton: I am not trying to run their organization or take it over, but to simply assist in making this organization what, I believe, they intend to be.

Pan of Minute Men sitting at meeting

Clinton: They are having the equivalent of an opportunity to give opinions about the candidates, me being one of them for membership in the Lexington Minute Men and uh if there are any negatives or anything to be found out such as my subversive activities in the past.

Cut to Clinton entering room in uniform

Clinton: I might very well be voted out so I came prepared tonight with an acceptance speech and a non-acceptance speech.

Clinton: I should show nervousness by twitching.

Wayne: Clinton Jackson,

Close up Clinton

Wayne: You have been recommended for membership in the Lexington Minute Men and have been accepted by a vote of the members in accordance with the bylaws of the company.

Cut to group standing and applauding

Close up Clinton

Clinton: I am a man of means. I now have two chickens, two goats, one cow and a bull.

Paul in red winter coat walking to camera

Paul: I think our first challenge will be to hope that there will be green grass by next April. That was something that the British back then didn't have to work on because the weather had actually been very hot and dry. Now this is tower park, and we're going to actually be coming down this road behind me. We will be coming off of the road and this we know was an area that the British stopped at and they did have quite a fire fight with the militia.

Cut to Paul behind stone wall

Paul: The militia will be behind this stone wall. I'm certain of it. They may not stay there for very long, but as we come across, they are definitely going to fire at us from here. We have to drive them out.

Cut to walking in snow

Paul: British officers back then did lead from the front. The company officers would be right up with their men, but the actual commander of the entire column, perhaps where I will be, will be slightly behind.

Cut to wide shot

Paul: The British need to get to these woods, open field like this they are probably going to fix their bayonets and actually charge at the militia.

Advancing at screen.

Paul: And you come at them like this and they are not going to be there when you get there or they're going to die.

Cut to Colin as Sam Adams walking into Paul's house

Paul walks down stairs with Colin

Paul: Gentlemen, I want you to meet a potential recruit, Sam Adams.

Fast action shots of men working in basement and coats

Cut to Paul giving coat for Sam Adams to try on

Paul: What size are you roughly?

Colin Godfrey: Oh, 38, I suppose, 40.

Paul: Well, this might stand a chance. It's pretty rotten.

Colin: It is pretty old, this one.

Paul: It's very old. Oh wow, that actually just about fits you. It is supposed to be rather tight.

Paul getting wig for Colin

Paul: And then, let's try this, really quick here. Start there and grab it in the back, this may be a little small.

Colin spins around

Colin: Yeah, it's a little small.

Paul: Not too bad, not too bad.

More shots of guys working on buckles, etc.

Paul: People are required to put in a substantial amount of time each and every month.

Cut to Paul by coats

Paul: The other issue is that it is actually fairly expensive and one of these coats here with all the trimmings and the musket and the accoutrements and belting,

Paul showing guns and belts

Paul: ...perhaps $1,500, an officer quite a lot more, perhaps something like $2,000.

Cut to Paul by coats

Paul: I guarantee you if you invest in it, you will have the front row seat at something that no one else does. They actually are on the field of battle, actually recreating something from the 18h century. And the feeling you have when you do that and all the 21st century slips away and you actually are out there with your men and there is just the smoke and the flame and the swords and the bayonets and the horses and the whole thing that is the moment that you have been waiting for. It actually is a magical thing when it all comes together.

Cut to British practice drill, Paul testing bayonets

Paul: That is not going to come off. Good. OK, that is good.

Cut to behind soldiers' backs

Paul: Don't do this. You'll walk in front of somebody who is firing.

Cut to soldiers standing, performing shooting drills

Paul: We drill once a month at the Lexington Armory.

Paul: Charge with cartridge! Draw your aft!

Cut to close up of officers ordering and then soldiers performing drills

British Officer: Poise your firelocks! Cock your firelocks!

Wide shot of marching

Cut to soldiers marching toward the camera slowly

Paul: We are the government.


Paul: This is an armed rebellion.

Cut to wide shot of soldiers marching

Paul: What government would not try to disarm such an outrageous rebellion?

Extreme wide shot

Paul: Company halt!!

Cut to interview with Paul in his uniform

Paul: The normal weekday, I am just a 21st century manager for a bio-tech company. I work hard, I go home, I do everything that I can.

Cut to British soldiers marching at Niagara Fort

Paul: But on these weekends I come to places like this.

Paul: This is really almost ground zero for a regiment like the tenth regiment. This was their last posting before they went to Boston...

Cut to close up of commander

Paul: ...and actually got involved in the opening battles of the American Revolution.

Close up of commanding officers

Officer: Crown forces will perform the trooping of the colors. They will be inspected and we will have a general salute for the king.

Close up standing at attention

Paul: You have to remember that the history of Europe has been one of lawlessness for many, many years and...

Cut to interview in uniform

Paul: England has now achieved a parliament, real laws; they have the beginning of corporate entities. They have the beginnings of all things that we now consider to be modern.

Cut to officers inspecting soldiers

Paul: They saw to their persecutions, a just society, one of the most wondrous empires and countries on earth.

Cut to music marching past soldiers with flags

Paul: So the British officers do not understand why these Americans are so discontented.

Cut to George talking to commanders' meeting.

George: And the British said, "Are you crazy! You have the basic rights far more than anyone else in the world, the rights of Englishmen. And you are giving us trouble?"

Pan around to his back

Cut to close up from front

George: It was an explosion of the human spirit, the vitality that gripped the people over here. And the British didn't understand it. There is no limit -- I can own land, I can have my own farm, I can have my own family's property...

Cut to militia drilling.

George: ...and on top of that...

Cut to close up of Charles Price and then Liu

George: matter what I was born into, I can rise to the top, I can become important...

Cut to Colin

Cut to drummer, men fixing muskets

George: I can prosper, I can create and grow.

Wayne entering militia practice hall

Cut to Wayne talking to group, then cut to group at attention

Wayne: Lexington Company form!! Be very, very careful, do not fire anytime when there is someone between you and a redcoat, and be on alert for a musket aiming at you.

Cut to militia lining up and drilling

Liu: There weren't any Catholics and Jewish back then, they were all Puritan.

Liu's face

Liu: I was concerned, you know, about being Asian, how do I hide that? Glasses can't hide it, I can't wear a mask, but everyone kept telling me don't worry about it, just come celebrate the history with us.

Pan of militia ending on Charles Price

Charles Price: I take the role of Prince Estabrook, and he was a slave of the Estabrook family.

Cut to interview

Price: He doesn't have any property, he was the property so he has no possessions of his own, other than his clothes.

Cut to militia in shooting drills, with commander yelling orders

Price: Perhaps he hoped that if he goes out there and fights with the militia, possibly he might be able to obtain his freedom.

Cut to close up of a minuteman firing

Commander: Fire!

Militia: Boom

Cut to interview

Dan Fenn: We know how it all came out, those people standing on the green that day had no idea how it was going to turn out, what even was going to happen.

Cut to militia drilling

Dan: All that they knew was that they were taking on their own culture and their own association as British subjects. What on earth...

Cut to interview

Dan: ...brought those people to the point where they were willing to stand -- most of them willing to stand -- there in the face of this massive might of the greatest power on earth defending their green...

Slow motion cut and pan to green with militia standing at attention during roll call

Dan: I am not quite sure what patriotism means. Somehow, it had to be something which brought them in touch with issues, with ideas larger than themselves, and I don't think they were standing there going through some intellectual process, I think, it was more an emotional, even religious, process.

Cut to shot of Mike Coppe at the dentist office working on a child's teeth

Mike Coppe: Twenty-three years ago, I joined the Lexington Minute Men...

Cut to close up of child's face, then pan up to Mike talking diagetic

Mike: ...and as a Lexington Minute Man, I would be able to portray someone who actually stood on Lexington Green on April 19, 1775. It was very interesting to me because I saw on the muster role Nathanial Mulligan and I had a friend who was a Mulligan, so I took Nathanial Mulligan's part and portrayed that part for 20 years. A friend of mine who was a British officer had often baited me to try the other side.

Cut to Mike Coppe walking down hall to get dressed

Putting on uniform

Cut to close up dressing

Mike: He lost weight, and in losing weight, he could not wear the uniform, so he gave the uniform to me and I was finally able to be a British officer marching onto the green, playing the other side.

Mike: I certainly represent King George's finest soldier right now.

Cut to interview

Mike: It's convenient and helpful for me to think of it as an accident. That way, no one was really the villain, I mean, the colonials were there to protect their families and their homes. The regulars were there to do the King's work and to seize the arms and munitions stored in Concord...

Cut to putting on belts and hat

Mike: ...and they were on their way to Concord when they intercepted the group of Lexington Minute Men on the Green. It's just so interesting to think about firing on people that I once stood on their side and knew them as colleagues and compatriots and now I am on the other side and they had real personalities when I was a Lexington Minuteman and I stood with them...

Cut to walking to car, then driving in car

Mike: But as I stand as a British officer, they become amorphous.

Cut to soldiers marching and firing, slow-motion on green

Mike: I don't hear their voices. I can barely see their faces, and to suddenly realize that they're now cast in the role as enemy.

Cut to Loyalist Camp

Rebecca: It is a very large move to cut ties with the country that has been your mother country for 150 years.

Loyalist woman fixing another's hair: We still believe the king is the king. We don't always agree with all the policies, but we still believe he is the governor of our state and of our nation, and we still believe that crown is where we owe our obedience. We'd like some things changed, but we don't think a revolution is the way to go.

Cut to Loyalist woman with dog

Loyalist woman with dog: Well the rebels are dirty scoundrels the rebels refuse to be civilized Englishmen they should be loyal to the king

Cut to Loyalist man

Loyalist man: They're scoundrels. They don't know what they are talking about. They don't know what they're asking for. It is just going to get much worse.

Cut to Rebecca husband helping her dress, then another female getting dressed, then a male loyalist getting his ponytail tied

Male loyalist #2: So I'll bring the van around to get the food.

Male loyalist #3: We'll load all the food up there and take it down to the house.

Cut to soldier walking into house

Rebecca: A loyalist is a law abiding citizen who...

Cut to close up interview

Rebecca: know maybe they would run a speed trap, but that's about the most they would break the law.

Cut to eating

Rebecca: They are really interested in not bucking the system. They wanted to keep the basic government and change the things that they didn't like within the government, but didn't dislike it enough to want to through away the baby with the bathwater.

Man gives a toast: His royal majesty King George the Third!!

Cut to close up

Rebecca: Imagine that tomorrow there was no Supreme Court. Imagine that tomorrow there was no legislature setting up the budget. Imagine that tomorrow all of the armies were disbanded, anarchy, and that susceptibly is what we were heading for. We were heading for anarchy.

Cut to dancing

Rebecca: The American Revolution, you had brother against father and sister against sister and it cut completely across the area.

Cut to Rebecca and Taylor working on coat

Cut to close up

Rebecca: I come from Connecticut, and in Connecticut actually about 25% of the population was loyalist, and another 25% was patriot, and the other 50% didn't want anything to do with the war one way or another.

Colonials standing around watching

Cut to rebel being arrested by British soldiers

Troops: We are looking for private Irene. We have a deserter here!

British troops marching off with woman

Cut to fashion show pan up of colonial women watching

Tailor: This would be considered, or what was often styled as a coachman's great coat.

Cut to more people watching

Cut to Paul

Paul: What you see before you are three British officers, speaking of fine gentlemen...

Wide Shot above group

Cut to Paul close up showing coat

Paul: ...and here is a regimental styled frock coat that one might wear about town or to an evening engagement here.

Cut to officers entering and the dancing at the officer's ball

Interview outside ball

Peter: Growing up as a teenager when you are defining who are. This was what I did and this is who I was. While other kids were doing other things, this is what I did, and while those other things defined those kids and as I did this it defined who I was, it's pageantry of life and it's something that is missing in our modern day, and we will continue doing this and drive 5,10 15 hours, fly across the Atlantic if some of us could do it to do this because we are one big family.

Cut to British unit practicing

Peter: When I go home, it's still me as I am as a reenactor, but I am not in the role of a sergeant major. But all the discipline, all the espri décors, all the open minded friendliness that I have found within this hobby goes into my real life.

Peter: So when you are doing those drills, when we're in the field that is going in your head, OK, that that is part of the impression, OK? Even though we're beating up on the Americans we are also looking really, really good.

British soldiers at the bar

Peter: So we're are sitting down, laying cover fire for the tent and we look to the right. There are a whole bunch of ten footers just swinging, going "Save the guard's colors! Save the guard's colors!"

Cut to close up of Winston

Winston: And I go, "HALT! Drop it now!" and he just goes [makes scared face].

Group singing

Winston: It's just great fun to be out there and doing these events. You're the cream of the crop, you're the senior regiment of the British Army.

Joe and his wife close up

Joe: We actually just moved into the Boston area. My name is Joe and this is my wife, Debra. We were actually looking to kind of form a friendship within the society and looking for things to kind of do, so is this is something to get involved and make life long friendships or at least meet some people that we would be able to connect with.

Peter close up

Peter: Our motivation as British reenactors is to portray the British soldiers involvement in American history, as well as portray what we as Persons love about being Brits.

Close up Joe

Joe: How much would it cost? What are the expenses?

Winston close up

Winston: About $1500 to get you ready and get you out on the field. And then if you mess up, well then, the sergeant major will be speaking to you in no uncertain terms.

Peter close up

Peter: I will sort him out, sir. He won't muck in the field, sir. He will be properly trained before he gets there.

Wide Shot

Peter: You don't actually get shot. We are firing blanks so don't worry about not coming home. But, you may come home late.

Winston: Some people think that I am snobby.

Cut to Winston interview

Winston: Sometimes maybe I am. The English are accused of being snobbish, but it is more of, uh, as a child, I am very outgoing now, but as a child I would be described, as the English put it, as painfully shy. I had all kinds of toys and...

Cut to toy soldier in his hand

Winston: I had toy soldiers but, you know, all the guys I used to play with, we would play guns, whether it was cowboys and Indians, or what have you, or war. We were out playing with guns. I was always interested in being a soldier, but it never happened for real. When the bicentennial came around, I had other friends that were involved with this thing, served a militia unit, and I said, "How does one get into this?" and he said, "Well there is this, this and this." And I was looking at his militia uniform and I said "Hmm. I don't think so. What about British?"

Cut to zoom out from British flag from back of car with Stone getting ready

Cut to Winston arriving

Winston: So contrary to what I do, because what I do is involved with computers and paper work, this gets me outdoors. It gets me out into the fresh air, at least. It is just so different, it's escapism.

Cut to Winston preparing

Winston: And I must be off. You see what we are going to do is to go own the road and we get attacked by the Americans.

Shot of militia firing guns outside Jason Russell house

Stores and then David pointing out are

David Hicks: The British forces will be coming down from down where the high school is from down this road here...

Militia in fast forward walking around getting street ready

Hicks: ...down Mass Avenue, coming down and they'll round this corner here.

Militia in fast forward walking around getting street ready, a woman takes a picture of them

Close up Hicks

Hicks: OK how long do you want us to hold them here on Mass Ave, uh, one volley or two volleys?

Militiamen crossing the street

Hicks: Two or three volleys.

Colonial woman talking on phone walking with British officers

Woman: OK, so everybody is all done with safety checks? OK [inaudible].

British soldiers charging

Cut to Militiaman close up outside tavern

Militiaman: Sergeant summon the men so that we may travel to Buckman's there to consult we trust with Captain Parker.

Militiaman: Men fall in, Samuel, Phineas, Ben, John fall in here, Jedediah, William

Cut to Skip at doorstep

Skip: Chip!

Chip: What?

Skip: Let's go!

Chip: Hold on they are not ready yet.

Cut to man on horse

Cut to Skip

Skip: Carmen, block the sidewalk.

Cut to Skip Interview

Skip: Most reenactors, not all, most don't have facial hair, mainly because there was no facial hair in the 18th century. You can look at many, many paintings and you'll see no one, at least within the civilized world, maybe out in the woods somewhere, but most people didn't wear it, and I, uh, in 2000 when we had a large commemoration in Lexington I shaved my mustache for the sake of showing everyone else that I felt it was necessary to do, and I had my mustache over 22 years.

Cut to man on horse in front of Buckman with Captain Parker going to greet him

Man on Horse: Captain, the regulars are coming down the road and there are many of them.

Wayne: OK, stable your horse behind the tavern and join us on the common. You there, you there, fire the alarm guns!

Cut to Wayne Interview

Wayne: I am a printer and now an educator. I teach at Waltham High School. I am interested in History. I am interested in the history of not just the country, but of mankind. And a lot of what happens during the course of the battle in Lexington is a reflection of history sometimes repeating itself and being very, very important for what it is that we are experiencing today.

Militiaman drumming on the green

Jim Roberts: The little bit of nervousness when I am looking at my watch and I am saying well, you know the narration should be starting now, or Thaddeus Bowman should be riding down the street. The reason I got into the Minute Men was...

Cut to Jim Roberts Interview

Jim: birthday falls on April 19th, so Patriot's day is my birthday. We'd go down for a party, my parents would bring us down with the guys and we'd watch the Minute Men coming down the street.

Cut to Liu talking while marching

Liu: The British reenactment troop is there, we will probably take our places and start the re-enactment rehearsal. Hopefully they are there now, I mean, they said 3:15. I think it is about that time.

Paul and Jim greeting each other on the green

Jim: I see you have your contingent here.

Paul: Yes, yes, I just wanted to actually review that our stopping point basically has generally been just behind the flag pole here.

Jim: Yes, correct.

Paul: OK, so that gives us about 50-75 feet between us.

Cut to Jim walking on green between the groups

Jim: Regulars... Regulars

Jim: I try to tell the men, as the chairmen now, not as sergeant, Monroe...

Cut to Jim interview

Jim:'s OK to look nervous. You don't have to be rigid, because if you look rigid, you take away the emotion out of the three lines of men.

Cut to militia roll call

Roll Call: John Hasner, Timothy Wellington, Enoch Wellington, Samuel Hadley, Phineas Smith, Prince Easterbrook, Rupert Lock, Ebenezer Lock, Benjamin Lock, Isaac Muzzy, Sgt. Francis Brown, Lt. William Tid, John Tid, John Brown, Ebenezer Bowman, James Brown,...

Cut to Jim interview

Jim: I don't have an ancestor to the Monroes, but I can try to put myself in his position, but as a tavern owner who had a building down the street, had a wife and had a business in town and who knew all of the men that were standing with him.

Cut to Jim on green

Jim: Go ahead, take one shot and go.

Militiamen running onto green

Jim: We are trying to show that we have some level of proficiency in what we have done as soldiers.

Cut to Wayne walking on green, then walking around Minute Men

Jim: As militiamen, they were drilling, they had been drilling for many months.

Cut to British soldiers standing and listening to instructions

British Commander: We will form them up, after the officers with have the little parley amongst themselves, so when they come back the army should already be formed up any other questions?

British Soldier: Yeah, are we going to prime and load by ourselves? Or, are you going to give the order?

British Commander: Make sure the NCOs or the men have one down the spout

Cut to officer

British Soldier: Grenadiers, are you sure they will be at the tavern or are they going to join us on the green somewhere along the line or stay there?

Cut to Jim behind militia ranks

Jim: To the spruce! To the left! The other left! OK, we are going to spread out a little bit guys, spread to the right a little bit. Look nervous, guys.

Cut to Clinton with Joe

Clinton: Well, if you are going to be a British Soldier the first thing you will be is a private. You will have no education what so ever. You will be an Irish conscript, somebody who has had their nation and their nationality taken away from them. You are a nobody and you will do what the king or an officer in red tells you to do, or you will suffer the lash. And this will give you three meals a day, a place to sleep and good care; that is what you will get.

British soldiers yell huzzah and ready guns

Winston comes up from behind Joe

Winston: Are you mucking about my recruit, sir?

Clinton: Your recruit, sir, needs to know exactly how bad the food is.

Peter: Not in the guards, sir.

Cut to Jim and then Paul talking to Jim

Paul: So, there is going to be more commotion, a bit more noise and I forgot to swing my sword which is a bit of a signal, if some of your gentlemen want to respond I imagine that would be all right, but either, whatever you feel is appropriate.

Jim: What we were going to do, the pace was fine, but they threw us off. Maybe having the consult afterwards, maybe will speed that up a little bit.

Cut to Paul walking with other officers to militia

Paul: Excellent weather we are having today.

Winston: Yes, it is gorgeous, absolutely lovely. Let's hope we have the same on the day.

Paul: Gentlemen draw. I shall speak to them. Lay down your arms, return to your homes and you will not be harmed!

Cut to Paul

Paul: You see, my mission is to get to Concord. I don't really know that Hancock and Adams are down the road or that the papers are here. That would be a bonus, we'd walk straight into that, that would be frosting on the cake. I would love to get those.

Cut to British Soldiers advancing and firing

Paul: Go get 'em! Go get 'em!

Cut to Jim walking over to Jim Hart

Jim: Who is bayoneting you? Same guy who usually does it?

Jim Hart: No, they changed it again. He did a good job. I told him to be more fluid, not to be so hesitant.

Cut to Jim Hart getting up off ground

Jim H.: OK, now I am going to see if my dead are located in the proper place instead of dying on top of each other, and make sure the wounded are OK.

Soldiers march past

Cut to Skip

Skip: Normally I would get off two shots and I die in that spot, but I'll have to lay it off a little more and then work out with the spacing a little better.

Cut to Mike Coppe

Mike: The grenadiers were not able to fire right away at the militia over on Buckman tavern so that was the only thing that we have to work on.

Cut to Coppe and Jim

Jim: What?

Mike: Can you change the verbiage so it's, "You'll not get my musket!" instead of, "You'll not get my gun!"?

Jim: I am not going to change it at this time.

Mike: It's a simple thing for Carmen to say it?

Jim: We'll leave it the way it is for now. We'll change for next year. We'll talk about it at the exit meeting.

Mike: All right, great.

Cut to Clinton at green

Clinton: What I'm is a reenactor, somebody who feels as though it is important to understand the passion of what took place here, because just like everybody in our society today I am confused as to what the country stands for, whether the constitution really works, whether the government is straight or crooked. I don't know a lot of answers to the questions and so I have to find a reference point and the reference point for me is reading and studying and acting.

Tilt down onto shot of Lexington common

Skip walking

Skip: Samuel Hadley used to walk this common just like any other person in the 18th century.

Cut to shadow shot

Skip: And when I walk this common today, I really get goose bumps thinking of how important it was that we defend ourselves.

Cut to Skip

Skip: People in Lexington were just like people in any other parts of the colonies, and I think if Sam Hadley is just that type of person, he probably never ventured more than 20 miles from his house, and being the center of activity here in Lexington, I think he probably came here as much as everybody else...

Cut to Reverend Meek entering church exterior

Skip: ...listening to Rev Clark, who was the minister here, not only preach the gospel but also really talk about what was happening in Boston, why there was a threat.

Cut to Meek getting dressed

Reverend Meek: Jonas Clark was minister of the church in Lexington for 50 years. He came to Lexington in 1756 after a vote of the male communicate members of the congregation and he served until he died in 1806. We have to infer Jonas' personality really partly from the fact that he was here for 50 years and the people of Lexington gave him their allegiance, their friendship, their support. You have to earn those sorts of things.

Cut to Rev. Meek walking to sanctuary

Cut to Meek at pulpit giving sermon to regular people

Meek: I would ask you in these difficult and dangerous days with so much unrest in Boston and so much uncertainty in what these next days and weeks might bring, that you have entrusted your safety to a militia of your neighbors. The town is in the hand of its townsmen and so indeed it should be, for these men are defending our liberty. We have been a nation in all but name.

Wide shot tilt from rear of sanctuary

Meek: We are doing what is just and right for ourselves.

Pan down from American flag, to soldiers walking to meeting house.

Fife and drums playing out in front

Cut to militia walking into meeting house

Wayne from behind, then cut to front

Wayne: Remember those that perished that first day in 1775 and all those who have since given their lives to defend and preserve our liberty and freedom.

Group recites end of Pledge of Allegiance: ...One nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

Jim: And I'll be damned if I will let some thugs from the crown take my property or attack my family, you there?

Militia: I am with you, sir!

Jim: You there?

Militia: I am with you!

Jim: Are you all with me?

Militia: Yes!!!!

Cut to shots of food being brought in from kitchen

Skip: Eggs, sausages...

Cut to food dumped into trays

Skip: ...toast, juice, hot chocolate, tea, you name it, we've got it. We send them out on a full stomach.

Rose: We need to be here somewhere between 5-5:30 to muster and...

Diagetic close up Rose

Rose: ...more over, we do go out to make sure the green is set up properly because it is done by the Department of Public Works in the middle of the morning. So some of us go out to make sure it is OK, which is where I am going in a few minutes.

Horseman: The regulars are out! The regulars! Call the countryside!

Barry Chuna: At that time, very few people were thinking about revolution or forming a new country. It was not in the mind of most people. If you polled them, I think it was something like two-thirds of the people absolutely still wanted to be under the British crown, but they wanted the British crown with their own rules. They wanted to rule themselves.

Cut to other Picket

Picket : We have been told that the British are out, they are marching here from Cambridge. They have come across from the North side in boats and will be here. They intend to seize our powder. They intend to go to Concord and seize the powder that is stored there.

Pan down onto Lexington green

Pan down from church to green early morning, then cut to Paul in lot with soldiers

Paul (soldiers repeat each line after him): I, state your names, swear to be true to our Sovereign in the defense of his person, crown and dignity.

End repeat

Cut to Paul with recruits again giving pep talk

Paul: Remember you have been standing in a swamp. Your officers have forced you to go through swamps instead of over bridges. You are wet up to your wastes. Your gaiters, your shoes are shrinking around your ankles and now suddenly they are in front of you, what are you going to do, what are you going to do?

Cut to individual close up with different British soldiers

Officer #1: I have had it with the taunts, these are English people. We are all Englishmen. We are here to do a job and put this rebellion to rest.

Officer #2: General Gage wants us to move to Concord, discover any rebel stores, burn and destroy them and return to Boston.

Winston: Hopefully we don't have to shoot, sir, hopefully we can do our mission and get back to Boston without any incident. However, should there be, I think we are ready.

Officer #3: They just pulled us out of bed last night, put us on boats, across the river. We have been marching and marching.

Coppe: Well the alarm guns have been firing, the bells have been ringing, the countryside is alarmed and we are now expecting 700 to 1000 men on Lexington Common.

Officer #4: I am just a private, but I am very miserable right now and I am fearing for the worst at this point.

Officer #5: I don't want to be here right now. We have been marching for hours and hours through the swamps. It is not a good morning.

Officer #6: We have been treated like, well I can't say what we have been treated like, but the colonials hate us. They throw rocks at us, they throw snowballs at us. We don't want to be here, we just want to get out of here and if they give us any trouble, we are going to kick their butts.

Officer #7: Just a private, sir, do what they tell me, go where they tell me, come back when they tell me.

Officer #8: Same thing, sir, just a private.

Officer #9: Lance corporal, sir, the same thing, just follow orders.

Cut to colonist on horse

Thaddeus: Captain Parker! Captain Parker! Where is Captain Parker?

Wayne come out of tavern

Wayne: What is happening? What is it, Thaddeus?

Thaddeus: The regulars are coming down the road prepared for battle and there are many of them!

Cut to militia marching slow motion in large group on the green

Cut to British marching

Dan: Then when the Brits put their Bayonets down, and with the long bayonets sticking at you, and come at you, it's real. All of a sudden two hundred years have gone away and it's 1775.

Paul: March!

Dan: I think all of us are wondering how they felt as opposed to how we feel in this situation.

Wayne: Do not fire unless fired upon. Let the troops pass by and do not molest them without they begin first.

Dan: Some were scared, some defiant like Jonas Parker, some were heroic like Joshua Simons, same thing you would find in any collection of people.

Paul: Move it! move it!

Cut to close up Paul and officers ready and then approaching the group

Paul: Gentlemen, let's speak to this rabble. Fix your bayonet, Sergeant. Should any of these rabble draw on the officer or fire his piece, you will kill him on the spot, do you understand?

British soldiers: Sir!

Paul: Gentlemen, draw. Far enough. I will speak to them.

Cut to Skip then Lu close up

Paul: Lay down your arms! Disperse to your homes and you will not be harmed.

Skip: And I feel the fear, I really feel the fear. My stomach tightens...

British loading guns

Skip: I caught sight of my shadow and it was like my grandfather was walking beside me there.

Militia loading guns

Medium shot of Paul and British troops taunting

Cut to Tid close up

Tid: You won't get my gun!!

Wayne telling militia to clear the field in slow motion and close up

Wayne: Clear the field! Make way! Quit the field!

Cut to shot being fired


Wayne: Quit the field!

Cut to British firing shots, then Militia firing shots

Then British in slow motion

Liu getting shot

Then Militia in slow motion

Skip getting shot

Cut to shots of more militia dying, then the British officers walking through the dead

Troops and Paul yelling during Skip's VO

Skip: I feel I am connected with him at that moment. As the British army marches off the green they are swearing at you, they are calling you every word in the book. That was the beginning of our country and it just happened from simple people feeling they had to defend themselves.

British troops Wide shot moving off the field

Paul: The smoke curls away and suddenly you see all of these bodies on the green that is not what was supposed to happen, oh my God, what have we done?

British march off with dead on ground, families run out

Cut to Paul close up

Cut to each officer as they talk

Paul: Who gave the order to fire? Captain Parsons, can you not control your men?

Officer: Clearly, sir, our mission has been compromised. If we would proceed further, we would stick our heads in a bees' nest.

Coppe: The rebels attacked us. We should continue on with our mission to Concord.

Angry officer: Our orders are clear. We are to march to Concord and receive the store and destroy them. Lets' gets this over with as fast as possible.

Paul: Sir, have you the map?

Officer: I have, sir.

Paul: How far?

Officer: Seven miles.

Paul: Only seven, we can make that in two hours.

Brits march off, past wounded

Cut to Paul by buses

Paul: Mr. Clark, there is plenty of room over here.

Cut to British bus

Soldiers: Huzzah!!

Cut to parking lot

Rhonda McConnon: Too much has happened so quickly. We didn't expect firing. The British didn't expect firing. So therefore, we're all wondering what is going to happen.

Cut to militia marching past a house

Bill: We are waiting for the British column to form up.

Cut to close up of Bill talking

Bill: With any luck, they have an indication that we are somewhere in the area, but not behind them, and then they will be attacked by three fires. There will be one company on the left flank that they don't know about, the main army in front of them and then us on their rear guard, which likewise they, theoretically, don't know about. If it works out right, the British column will be thrust on three sides, so they're going to be in tough shape.

Militiaman: [talking on phone] I just wanted to check in, all right, I'll see you in about an hour and a half.

Cut to woman taking a picture of the militia hiding, then Brits behind a fence

Commander: We can see some Brits from here.

Close up of commander talking

Commander: Uh, in front of the tavern we are trying to put ourselves into position so that when they march out, we can hit them quickly in the rear.

Lu walking in behind commander

Commander: [whispers] They are forming up. We could form up next to them.

Liu: By the tree, should we wheel and sandwich them and capture them?

Commander: We could try.

Liu: Tell them "You guys are dead, stay in Monroe" and then continue on our way?

Commander: We could try.

Militiaman on walkie talkie: Are all of them out front or are some in front of the tavern?

Men marching, waiting, marching on street.

Colonial soldiers climbing over wall, British officers fighting back and forth, Paul and soldiers in forest, fighting, fighting on field, fighting in woods

Paul: Oh shoot, we just lost one. Retrieve him, take his body back!!

Soldiers carrying officer to tree

British soldiers on field with militia walking around

Cut to British officer injured on ground

British soldier: All this for their liberty.

Cut to colonial soldier

Colonial Soldier: I fired on some regulars and they fired on me. Who is to say what will become of this? I hear some talking of rights and liberties. I suppose that's all fine and well. I'd be just happy if the troops just went back where they came from.

Cut to Charles river men running to boats, Paul on boat

Paul: How many can we take? The rest can be sacrificed, save the officers.

British soldiers running onto dock and into boat

Paul: Oh dear, look at that. Well, I am afraid there is a war now!

Wide shot of boat

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