Hello, this is Paul Stearns, State Representative from Guilford, with the Weekly Republican Radio Address.
Since the Maine Legislature passed COVID-19 related legislation on March 17, then abruptly adjourned, House Republicans have been working from home.
Our primary goal has been to educate the Maine public on what is happening at the state and federal level to address COVID-19.
We have been respectful and generally supportive of actions taken by the Administration.
As we said in our last Radio Address, We Are All In This Together.
That has not deterred us from working to ensure state government is responsive to the needs of our citizens and that Constitutional Rights are not a casualty of the Civil and National Emergencies.
House Republicans have helped draw attention to shortcomings, particularly in accessing Unemployment Insurance. We have done so tactfully, understanding the challenges inherent in going from nearly full employment to the situation we are in today.
However slow, progress is being made in that area.
House Republicans were at the forefront of public pressure to ensure that Governor Mills following Homeland Security guidelines regarding 2nd Amendment-related small businesses.
We thank the Governor for following Homeland Security guidance and declaring them “essential businesses” in response to the public outcry.
This week’s address focuses on another event that brings us all together uniquely as Mainers, Patriot’s Day.
This year, Patriot’s Day is celebrated on April 20.
Just two states — Maine and Massachusetts — still mark this momentous event in American history with a public holiday.
Patriot’s Day commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord, which were fought near Boston in 1775. Patriot’s Day is held every year on the third Monday of April.
It should not be confused with Patriot Day, held on September 11 to mark the anniversary of terrorist attacks in the USA in 2001.
In 1775, the eastern part of the United States mainly consisted of British colonies.
The events that we celebrate on Patriot’s Day became known as the beginning of the American Revolutionary War, or the American War of Independence.
The first battles were fought in the areas of Lexington and Concord, near Boston, Massachusetts, on April 19, 1775.
The third Monday in April, Patriot’s Day, is symbolic for the emerging independence of the colonies that would eventually become a new country.
You may recall from your school days, the name of the most celebrated Patriot from that day in 1775, Paul Revere.
That American silversmith became known for helping spread the word of the Boston Tea Party to New York and Philadelphia, and for warning the Lexington Minutemen about the British troop movements toward Lexington and Concord.
The story of his “midnight” ride to Lexington is celebrated in the famous Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem Paul Revere’s Ride.
Part of that poem reads:
Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five:
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.
He said to his friend, “If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry-arch
Of the North-Church-tower, as a signal-light,—
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country-folk to be up and to arm.”
The poem goes on in great detail about the harrowing ride, before concluding:
“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.”
This Patriot’s Day, we remember the great courage, commitment and sacrifice that our ancestors made to fight for, and secure, the liberties, freedoms and Constitutional Rights that we enjoy today.
Maine House Republicans will continue to work towards flattening the curve and hastening the return of our full liberties, freedoms and Constitutional Rights.
Now is the time to defeat COVID-19, but also to ensure that none of what we have gained by our ancestors is lost.
The United States of America is the most successful, prosperous and greatest nation on the face of this earth because of the events flowing from that fateful day in April, 1775.
Be safe, be strong and may God continue to bless us.
This has been State Representative Paul Stearns with the Republican Weekly Radio Address.