Veterans Corner March 5, 2017

Snowballs, Patriotism and Scouts



March 5, 2017 Veterans Corner by Ronald Verini

Snowballs were the first volleys in this brewing demonstration of protest. The night was snowy and cold, and it was March 5th, the mob of protesters were indignant and demanding that their voices were not heard or even represented in the burdens that were placed upon them. These “Patriots” noticed their adversaries started placing bayonets on their rifles and as they were moving out of the building to enlarge their presence, one of them was hit by a snowball and thus discharged his rifle into the crowd. Other soldiers then began firing and when the smoke cleared, five ‘Colonists’ were killed and several were injured. These deaths and injuries are regarded by most historians as the 1st fatalities of the American Revolutionary War. The date was March 5, 1770, and the American Patriots were gathered outside the Customs House in Boston protesting not only the occupation of their city by British troops, but the very unpopular ‘taxation’ measures that were passed by the British Parliament without any American representation.

The British soldiers were put on trial and ‘Patriots’ John Adams and Josiah Quincy agreed to defend the soldiers in a ‘show of support for the Colonial Justice System’. The trial ended in December of 1770 with the two British soldiers being found guilty of manslaughter and had their thumbs branded with an ‘M’ for murder as punishment.

The Sons of Liberty” which was the early Patriot group formed in 1765 to oppose the ‘British Stamp Act’, advertised the March 5th action as the “Boston Massacre” and a battle for American Liberty and thus just cause for removal of British troops from Boston. Patriot Paul Revere was inspired by these actions to make a celebrated engraving of the incident, which helped bolster American sentiment to end British rule. Then in April of 1775 the American Revolution began when British troops from Boston were engaged by our American Militiamen at the famous battles of Lexington and Concord. The British were ordered to capture our Patriot leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock who were in Lexington and then capture the Patriot arsenal in Concord. Neither mission was completed because of that very famous ride of Paul Revere and William Dawes, who rode ahead of the British arousing the Patriot Minutemen and warning Adams and Hancock.

Then in March of 1776 after General George Washington’s successful fortifications around Boston, the British evacuated Boston. And for that ‘victory’, the Continental Congress awarded their ‘first ever medal’ to the Commander of the Continental Army, General George Washington.

Another ‘milestone’ was celebrated this last week. Cub Pack 300 presented their “Blue and Gold” Banquet and Awards Ceremony in New Plymouth, Idaho at the Congregational Church.

Another March 5th occurrence involving the US and Britain, occurred at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri and the year was 1946. Winston Churchill in a speech condemns the Soviet Union saying, ”From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an ‘IRON CURTAIN’ has descended across the continent”.

Another ‘milestone’ this last week was the Blue and Gold Banquet, an annual Scouting Tradition during Scouting Anniversary Week celebrated by Scout Pack 300. The occasion also celebrates the ‘Pack’ anniversary and gives thanks to all the Pack Leaders and adults that have helped to inspire the members. Parents and Grandparents and relatives also attended this Banquet, to encourage all members to do their best and know that they have a lot of support!! One of the guests at the Banquet was VAOI volunteer and Retired Army Major Jerry Haines, who shared his ‘history’ as a Cub Scout in the 1940’s. Jerry brought a picture of his original Cub Scout Identification Card and a picture of him in his Cub Scout Uniform with his sisters at his side!! Pack 300 is led by Mr. Stuart Reitz, and the other Pack Leaders are: Paula Olvera, Joel Foxx, Kim Pena, Debie Ediger and Jennifer Johnson. The Scouts attending and celebrating the Blue and Gold Banquet were: Tyler E., Colin R., Justin S., Drake, S., Blake H., Izaiah O., Regan C., Conner F., Ryan P., Clayton M., Oliver Z., Mick J., Felix S., Oliver G., Connor E., Michael M., and Toby M. Good Job Pack 300!!

Any man worth his salt will stick up for what he believes right, but it takes a slightly better man to acknowledge instantly and without reservation that he is in error.” President Andrew Jackson