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.
June 6, 2021 That’s the opening stanza of the “Concord Hymn” by Ralph Waldo Emerson, first sung in 1837 at the dedication of the Concord Battle Monument. An American militia, mostly armed farmers, challenged a British tyrant and ignited our War of Independence.
The Battle of Concord on April 19, 1775 and the Concord Hymn are appropriate inspirations for American farmers on the 77th anniversary of the D-Day invasion to liberate Europe from fascism.
In a far more massive campaign to overthrow a tyrant, more than 156,000 Americans and allies stormed the beaches of Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944.
But on the June 6, 2021 anniversary of D-day, America’s commander-in-chief didn’t honor its remembrance. (His wife posted an observance on social media.)
Our website seldom “observes” historic days. But when a president ignores D-Day and Americans’ sacrifice for liberty, our impulse is to respond.
Here’s our response: We’re preserving on this website a historic document, the Report of the President’s Advisory 1776 Commission, released in January 2021. It describes America’s struggle to achieve and insure the rights of all our citizens. You can download and read your own PDF copy at this link. Share it with your children and grandchildren and their teachers!
This true summary of American history was censored from the White House website last January, along with a January 2021 executive order to rescind the 1776 Advisory Commission.
A conclusion of the Commission sums up the task before us:
“This great project of national renewal depends upon true education—not merely training in particular skills, but the formation of citizens. To remain a free people, we must have the knowledge, strength, and virtue of a free people. From families and schools to popular culture and public policy, we must teach our founding principles and the character necessary to live out those principles.
“This includes restoring patriotic education that teaches the truth about America. That doesn’t mean ignoring the faults in our past, but rather viewing our history clearly and wholly, with reverence and love. We must also prioritize personal responsibility and fulfilling the duties we have toward one another as citizens.
“Above all, we must stand up to the petty tyrants in every sphere who demand that we speak only of America’s sins while denying her greatness. At home, in school, at the workplace, and in the world, it is the people—and only the people—who have the power to stand up for America and defend our way of life.”
The 1776 Commission echoes the closing lines of that Great Emancipator, Abraham Lincoln, spoken on the afternoon of Nov. 19, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He said that as Americans we must resolve that:
“this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”