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Paul Revere can inspire aid to Ukraine

A child rides a bicycle, left, near a statue of Paul Revere, center, in the nearly empty Paul Revere Mall, in Boston's North End neighborhood, Sunday, March 15, 2020. The Old North Church, from where Revere famously warned settlers of the advance of British troops, is on the right.  For most people, the new coronavirus only causes mild to moderate symptoms, such as fever and coughing.  For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.  (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

A child rides a bicycle, left, near a statue of Paul Revere, center, in the nearly empty Paul Revere Mall, in Boston’s North End neighborhood, Sunday, March 15, 2020. The Old North Church, from where Revere famously warned settlers of the advance of British troops, is on the right. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

When John F. Kennedy was campaigning for president, he recalled a story about a Boston resident who asked a Texan, “Haven’t you heard of Paul Revere?” The Texan replied, “Well, he’s the guy who ran for help.”

On April 18, 1775, Paul Revere began his famous overnight ride “for relief” into rural Massachusetts. Revere and William Dawes raised the alarm that British troops were on the move. The British plan was to seize the rebel colonist’s cache of weapons in the town of Concord.

The colonists and British forces would clash early on April 19. The Battles of Lexington and Concord marked the beginning of the Revolutionary War against Great Britain.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his poem Concord Hymn, called the beginning of the fighting that April morning the “Shot Heard Round the World.” It set in motion a revolutionary series of events that changed the course of history. The American colonies would become a free nation. The American Declaration of Independence from Great Britain came in 1776.

Paul Revere and his ‘aid’ played a major role in starting the American Revolution. On the night of April 18 to 19, 1775, there were many mysterious horsemen who gathered the colonists to oppose the British. It was astonishing how widespread and effective Revere’s system of riders and warnings was.

Author Sarah Loring Bailey wrote, “Finally the summons came. Who brought it, which messenger galloped through the night, neither history nor tradition tells; but old men remember how their fathers described the ringing of the church bells in the early morning of April 19, 1775, the beat of the alarm drum, the rushing to and fro of breathless messengers… how men used their musket and bayonet grabbed, and with barely a goodbye or a God-bless-you, were gone.

If America wanted to gain freedom and independence, it also needed outside help. France and other countries provided much-needed assistance to the colonies to win the Revolutionary War.

We should not forget that today as we consider how Ukraine is desperately fighting to resist Russia’s brutal invasion. Ukraine needs our help to remain an independent nation.

Ukraine could lose the war and its independence. And if Ukraine falls, more countries could be attacked because Russia will gain strength and continue its aggression.

We value our freedom and independence for which Paul Revere and the colonists risked their lives. But we must remember that America must remain a beacon of hope for others seeking freedom. That means helping others as we were once helped.

So as we celebrate the anniversary of the Revolutionary War, let us remember that others are going through the same struggle for freedom. Let us help Ukraine resist the Russian invasion and the starving war victims around the world who seek freedom from hunger.

. William Lambers is the author of the ‘Road to Peace’ and worked with the UN World Food Program on the book ‘Ending World Hunger’.

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