While national holidays are commonly observed by an entire country, state holidays obviously differ from place to place. Some places, like Boston, celebrate their own holiday too, as Boston does with Evacuation Day every March 17th. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of Maine, once part of Massachusetts, celebrate Patriots Day.
If you aren’t from the area Patriots Day may seem strange to you. But the name hints at its roots as a day to celebrate the first shots fired in the Revolutionary War at Lexington and Concord. This occurred on April 19, 1775, and Patriots Day is celebrated on the third Monday in April to commemorate the events of that day. Re-enactments take place in various places in Massachusetts, most notably in Lexington and Concord, but also Boston.
For Massachusetts, Patriots Day also coincides with the Boston Marathon and the Boston Red Sox hosting a game at 11 AM. These combined events make being in the City of Boston, or along the Marathon route, a special occasion. Patriots Day is one of the great days to be in Boston.
Participating in the Boston Marathon is a Holy Grail experience for most runners, and the race is a point of pride for anyone from the region. That’s why it was such an affront when two brothers targeted the race with two bombs in 2013. While they succeeded in creating initial panic and immediate attention from the world, they failed to sustain it as they completely underestimated the resolve of the people of Boston. Like the nation as a whole, if you want to unify us against you attack us. As in 1775 in Lexington and Concord, so again in 1941 at Pearl Harbor, on 9/11/2001 in New York and Washington and in Boston in 2013, you’ll find out that this community that is divided on so many issues unites when you bloody our nose.
Boston is back to celebrating Patriots Day, but the city remembers 2013. Security has significantly increased and people are more aware of what’s around them than they were then. The race is stronger for having survived the bombing, and so is the city. So here’s a toast to the runners, to the Red Sox, to our ancestors who faced the British that April 19th in 1775, and for those who rallied together to unite in a common effort when things got rough. That’s what Patriots Day is about.