Parker, John

Lexington, MA — Located across from the Lexington Visitors Center, it is the site of the opening shots of the Revolution; includes a monument that stands atop and honors seven of the minutemen who were killed on the Battle Green (19-Apr-1775) after the “shot heard ‘round the world.”
Concord, MA — With over 900 acres, the Minute Man Historical Park traces the route originally taken by the British Regulars from Lexington to Concord; includes the Minute Man Visitor Center, North Bridge Visitor Center, Hartwell Tavern, and the five-mile Battle Road Trail.

As students of Voltaire, Diderot, and Rousseau are always reminding us, the age of reason was really an age of sentiment. In this too, Washington was a man of his age. When he established the first general decoration in the American Army, the Purple Heart, it was not (as it became in the twentieth century) an award available to all soldiers wounded in the line of duty. Only privates and noncomissioned officers could win the original Badge of Military Merit, a cloth-shaped heart sewn over the man’s actual heart, which allowed him to pass all guards and sentinels which officers are permitted to do. The symbol was not of heart’s blood shed, but of virtue proceeding from the heart. Limiting the award to nonofficers was meant to indicate that great virtue can be shown regardless of rank — that in Washington’s words, the road to glory in a patriot army and a free country is thus open to all.

Garry Wills
Cincinnatus: George Washington & the Enlightenment (1984)