Who is Paul Revere and Why Truth Matters


During my childhood, rhymes and poems were an easy way to help remember things. One of my favorites, when studying American history was Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1860 classic that begins:

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, “If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,–
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm.”

I think I read one or two historical novels, written for elementary age school children, that further impressed the information into my mind of what it must have been like during the American Revolution when former British citizens decided to staunchly defend their right to establish an independent self-governed state. Paul Revere, a silversmith, who heard the call to action, was one of the heroes that warned, “The British are coming. The British are coming.”

So when I heard on the news a few days ago that Sarah Palin had made a statement implying that Paul Revere was communicating with the British rather than alerting local residents of their arrival and then refusing to admit, “Hey I made a mistake” that just seemed the culmination in a series of errors in judgement made by many of our “World Leaders” during the past month. Bad enough that politicians and celebrities are making errors in judgement from secretly fathering children and hiding their existence while running for public office to sending inappropriate photos of themselves over the web, but to then attempt to re-write history rather than admit an error in historical knowledge???? It seems a poor reflection on our Western Culture that so many individuals do not feel comfortable with admitting they are not perfect. Who is?
Evidently Palin does not feel comfortable admitting how little she knows of American history when she was making a point of taking herself and her family on an “American History Tour”. She can still study and learn what really took place and share what she learned with her devoted fans. She might actually gain some respect from some disinterested bystanders. But no, she has to encourage her supporters to attempt to change the entries in Wikipedia.
Pick up any newspaper or magazine (including ours) and you’ll find a list of corrections. Mistakes are made and for the record they should be corrected. Otherwise the result is more mistakes are made and lies are told to cover the truth which is why truth matters. No, we can’t get always get it right but the truth is what we should be trying to achieve. The goal should be to do our best, whatever task we are trying to do, and if our best falls short…well, than try it again.

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Author: Nadja Maril

Nadja Maril is a communications professional who has over 10 years experience as a magazine editor. A writer and journalist, Maril is the author of several books including: "American Lighting 1840-1940", "Antique Lamp Buyer's Guide", "Me, Molly Midnight; the Artist's Cat", and "Runaway, Molly Midnight; the Artist's Cat". Former Editor-in-Chief of What's Up ? Publishing, in charge of three magazines: "What's Up? Annapolis", "What's Up? Eastern Shore", and "What's Up? Weddings", former Editor of Chesapeake Taste Magazine a regional lifestyle magazine based in Annapolis, and former Lighting Editor of Victorian Homes Magazine, Maril has written hundreds of newspaper and magazines articles on a variety of subjects..

5 thoughts on “Who is Paul Revere and Why Truth Matters”

  1. I just listened to an interview on NPR of all places that essentially backed up Palin in the essentials of what she said. No, she was not specifically warning the British, but she pretty much on the money with her comments.

  2. Sorry, but Palin was dead wrong. Revere was captured by a British patrol while trying to advise the militia and Revolutionary leaders that “the regulars” were coming.

    There was no shooting.

    There were no bells.

    His mission was NEVER to “warn the British”.

    I heard the NPR piece, and it DID not state that she got it right.

    After Revere was captured, he tried to bluster that there were 500 militia troops on their way.

    Palin was dead wrong, and doesn’t have the humility to admit that she was wrong.

  3. Historians have been straightforward, Sarah Palin was correct, she is actually more familiar with that part of history that most of us.

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