So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,
— A cry of defiance and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door
And a word that shall echo forevermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"Paul Revere's Ride"
Two-hundred and thirty nine years ago tonight an express rider named Paul Revere raced to Lexington, MA, to warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams that British "Redcoats" were on the way to arrest them. Along the way, he "alarmed" the countryside, stopping at each house with the warning. Upon arriving at the house Adams and Hancock were using, a sentry warned him not to make so much noise.
"Noise?" said Revere. "You'll have noise enough before long. The regulars are coming out!"
These are the stories of America that we once all learned and honored. I still feel a shiver when I read Longfellow. The stories are no longer taught, although through groups like Appleseed they are passed along through an oral tradition as old as time.
I greatly fear we have have once again arrived on the eve of April 19, 1775. I hope I'm wrong, but tonight, when you close your eyes, listen for hoof-beats.