The inscription on the monument near the Concord Bridge reminds us
HEREOn the 19 of April 1775 was made the first forcible resistance to British aggressionOn the opposite Bank stood the American MilitiaHere stood the Invading Army and on this spot the first of the Enemy fell in the War of that Revolution which gave Independence to these United StatesIn gratitude to GOD and In the love of Freedom this Monument was erectedAD 1836
From the Federalist Patriot
By the Spring of 1775, the Massachusetts Colony was preparing for conflict with the Royal authority over taxation without representation. The colonial authorities had become oppressive, and American Patriots were prepared to cast off their masters.
On the eve of 18 April, 1775, General Thomas Gage, military governor of Massachusetts, dispatched a force from Boston to confiscate weapons stored in the village of Concord, and to capture Patriot rebels Samuel Adams and John Hancock, reported to be in Lexington. But Patriots had anticipated this raid.
Paul Revere had arranged for advance warning, and though he was captured, Patriot allies William Dawes and Samuel Prescott continued their midnight ride for twenty-two miles from Boston's Old North Church to Concord and warned militiamen along the way.
As dawn arrived on 19 April 1775, between 50 and 70 militiamen came to the town green at Lexington to confront the British column. When a few links away from the militia column, the British officer swung his sword, and said, "Lay down your arms, you damned rebels, or you are all dead men. Fire!" Several Patriots were killed and wounded, but none had been ordered to return fire.
However, when the British arrived at Concord's Old North Bridge, American "Minutemen" fired the "shot heard round the world" as Emerson notes [below].
That was the beginning of an eight-year struggle for American independence . . . .
By Ralph Waldo Emerson
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.
The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set to-day a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, are sons are gone.
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.