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[p. 32]

The Mayor's address.

Yesterday and today mark the anniversary of a past that deserves remembrance. Back one hundred and fifty years ago from yesterday, the battle of April nineteenth raged all along the highway from Concord to Charlestown. One hundred and fifty years ago today the Minute Men of Medford, who the day before had pursued the British along that line of retreat, were in quarters in Cambridge. The die was cast. The long struggle for independence was on.

We are the successors of that generation. We enjoy in peace all that they established out of that first armed stand in 1775. Their labor has become our liberty; their sacrifice our security; their privation, our prosperity. Out of all they gave, we have gained that for which, in the language of the day, they took up arms,— life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These have become to us a birthright, unquestioned and unchallenged.

It is fitting that each year we bring back into our consciousness the significance of the stirring events of a century and one half ago. In Massachusetts in particular, where the first volley of the Revolution was fired, let us Americans of today, whether we are descendants of the earlier settlers of this one-time colony, or of the later citizens of the present Commonwealth, join in grateful, reverent memory of the Americans of 1775 who in this region roundabout laid the beginning of our common country.

Here in Medford we are linked directly to that past. Without change of name, and with little change of boundary, Medford, the town of 1775, has become Medford, the city of our day. In our midst stand, like sentinels through the changing years, houses that saw the dawn of that April nineteenth. We gather in the presence of this venerable house. Here at the door, Paul Revere gave the first alarm on that ride through the night. From this house, while Revere dashed on up the country road to join Dawes in Lexington, the word of

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