A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, April 19, 2010

Thoughts on April 19

A generation or two ago, before the United States became as embroiled as it is today in the Middle East, when the US was admired for not having indulged in imperial ventures in the region and for supporting many decolonization movements, it was still possible for many in the region to see the American Revolution as a revolution to be emulated, the first great anti-colonial gesture. There are still a few folks in Tehran and elsewhere who may still think so.

So perhaps it is worth noting that it's April 19, and remembering the daring it took for a few farmers to stand against the world's greatest Empire on Lexington Green and at Concord Bridge 235 years ago today, and how what they stood for can still inspire others today. Or as Emerson put it his dedicatory poem on this date in 1836:
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.

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