WESTFORD — This Patriots’ Day 2023, four Westford patriots along with another patriot who flew all the way from Michigan completed a 10-mile march in misty weather from Westford to Concord to commemorate the Minutemen who walked the distance on April 19, 1775.
Westford resident Lt. Col. Dan Lacroix led the walk-in period clothing along with his Michigan friend Ney Carey. Three other Westford residents participating in the march were Kathy Lynch, Mike O’Connor, and Dave Laurello.
“It’s always a pleasure to have members of the Westford community join in the walk and to share the history of the early days of our town and country,” said Lt. Col. Dan Lacroix.
Halfway, the five marchers met Westford’s Judy Cataldo who brought donuts, water, and buttons to wear. This halfway greeting has been a tradition for many years.
Kathy Lynch, who serves as Republican State Committeewoman for Westford and surrounding towns, said, “I’ve been very impressed with this act of historical preservation and patriotism. I’d been meaning to do the march for several years. This was the year that worked out. I’m grateful that I experienced some of what our Minutemen faced in terms of walking long distances.”
The march that started in the dark at 5:00 AM took 3.5 hours to complete and was a great way to remember and keep alive the spirit of those brave militiamen who risked everything to serve and secure the colonist’s freedom from tyranny.
Lt. Col. Lacroix’s web page outlines the history of the times and the reason for the day. Tensions were high as Britain exceedingly taxed the colonials and outlawed town meetings. Once informed about the ‘regulars’ coming, “Lt. Col. Robinson set off for Concord by horseback from his home on present-day Robinson Rd. He and several others from Westford arrived in time to participate in the provincial response to the expedition of the British regulars. The remainder of the militia marched to the North Bridge, arriving shortly after the battle.”
The British regulars were on a mission to confiscate or destroy the colonial’s firearms and ammunition – their means of self-defense. The trained colonial Minutemen were ready for the fight once the first shot was fired in Lexington. The rest is history.