How - And Why - We Piece Together Patriots Day Reenactements

By Bob Seay

Apr. 18, 2011


BOSTON — Monday is Patriots Day, and one of the events that will mark the day is the reenactment of the battles of Lexington and Concord. The reenactments themselves are as much a part of Patriots Day tradition as the Boston Marathon and the daytime Red Sox game, and link us back to the history this holiday is intended to honor. Click here to listen to a 1950 interview with Dr. Alfred Worcester, as he recalls watching the first ever Patriots Day re-enactment.

One of the soldiers on Monday's staged battlefield in Lexington is Chris Woolf, who also happens to work for the BBC and WGBH's own The World. Woolf joined Morning Edition's Bob Seay to talk about what it's like to play a British soldier in these demonstrations -- and why it's important to continue acting out battles that ended hundreds of years ago. Click the player above to listen.

And if you couldn't make it to Lexington this morning, Woolf provided us with a brief photographic tour of contemporary reenactments:

Re-enactors pose in the style of an 18th-century military painting by David Morier. (Courtesy Adam Hodges-Leclaire)

For comparison, a Morier painting from the mid-18th century.

The battle in full swing on Lexington Green in 2009. (Courtesy Chris Woolf)

Militia men feign death during battle. (Courtesy Adam Hodges-Leclaire)

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