Patriots’ Day is a day that symbolizes the history of the human struggle to achieve dreams and happiness. Initially intended to celebrate the Battles of Lexington and Concord on Apr. 19, 1775 (the battles that were a direct catalyst of the American Revolutionary War), Patriots’ Day has taken on a different meaning in the eyes of New Englanders. Although the holiday is only recognized in Massachusetts, Maine and Wisconsin, the ideas represented by Patriots’ Day have been continued through the multitude of sporting events in Boston.
Two major sporting events take place on Patriots’ Day every year. Typically, at 11:05 in the morning, the Boston Red Sox play their annual Patriots’ Day game. Usually, the ending of the game coincides with the ending of the Boston Marathon, the oldest annual marathon in the world. These two events, which carry large amounts of importance in the baseball and long-distance running worlds respectively, help define the city of Boston as a hard-working city with the confidence to take on the world.
The Red Sox honor the courage of both Boston Marathon runners and the American Revolution forces from 1775 by hosting the Patriots’ Day game every year. Hosted at Fenway Park every year since 1959, the Patriots’ Day game has been a cornerstone of the Red Sox schedule, as it is the earliest local time game in MLB every year. In 118 meetings on Patriots’ Day, the Red Sox have a record of 68-50 (.576), giving Bostonians a sense of pride for the Red Sox.
However, Patriots’ Day serves as a symbol for unity and togetherness in a time of crisis. After the tragic Boston Marathon bombings in 2013 that killed three people and wounded over 260 more, the Patriots’ Day traditions of unity and perseverance carried on as the Red Sox came out of nowhere to win the 2013 World Series. The slogan “Boston Strong” demonstrated a new sense of unity for Bostonians, enabling Red Sox baseball to transcend competition and become a unifying factor for the city of Boston.
In effect, Patriots’ Day isn’t just a day that centers on the Boston Marathon and Red Sox baseball. Instead, it is a holiday that centers on the unity and perseverance demonstrated by Bostonians inspired by the events of the American Revolution. As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Spirit, that made those heroes dare to die, and leave their children free, bid Time and Nature gently spare the shaft we raise to them and thee.” Essentially, Emerson’s words define the fighting spirit of Bostonians to fight for a valiant cause, whether on the playing field or utilizing the ideals brought to them by the Founding Fathers in the American Revolution.
As the Red Sox play the Baltimore Orioles in the 119th edition of the Patriots’ Day game, think about the unity and perseverance that has made Boston a stronger and more coherent city. The ideas of Patriots’ Day don’t just transcend athletic competition; instead they serve as a historical allegory that defines the true American spirit that has carried this nation for nearly 240 years.