As you know, I am documenting some of the landmarks of the American Revolution that are common but often ignored sites around Boston. This one is new to me – I saw it for the first time this week when I stopped to get a haircut in North Cambridge. It is a timely reminder that governments can and do kill their own citizens. This is the reason the right of citizens to to keep and bear arms is enshrined in our Constitution.
The inscription reads:
APRIL 19, 1775
FOUR CITIZENS WERE KILLED
BY BRITISH SOLDIERS
RETREATING FROM LEXINGTON
- – -
ERECTED BY THE CITY
NAMES OF THOSE KILLED
ISAAC GARDINER, WILLIAM MARCY
JOHN HICKS, MOSES RICHARDSON
Here is the monument in its current context. It sits on the curb of at 2154 Massachusetts Avenue, the old Battle Road which runs from downtown Boston all the way to Lexington and Concord.
Thousands of cars pass this monument daily, but it remains mostly unseen, mostly ignored, its profound meaning lost on the citizens of the People’s Republic of Cambridge.
Here is the view northwest on the Battle Road, towards Lexington and Concord…
And the view to the southeast, back towards Boston Town:
If anyone ever tells you you don’t need guns to protect themselves, give them a friendly reminder of how this nation was formed.