Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Evacuation Day

I know. This day, March 17th is celebrated the world around as St. Patrick’s Day.

The world around.

Like the world famous St. Patrick’s Day parade in Singapore.

Mainly, it’s a chance to drink lots of beer in honor of some guy who lived in the 5th century and converted lots of Picts to the local version of Christianity.

And allegedly got rid of all the snakes in Ireland.

I am told, however, that this was taken care of a few millennia before, by huge thick ice sheets that also converted Irish soil to “rocks and.” As in “rocks and clay” or “rocks and sand” or “rocks and rocks.”

But I like to remember this day the way the folks in Suffolk County, Massachusetts remember it: Evacuation Day.

On March 17th, 1776, the British army under Sir William Howe, which had laid siege to the city of Boston for eleven months, had to beat a retreat to the sea. This was the only option left to Howe when he saw that Washington’s army brought cannon captured at Fort Ticonderoga up to Dorchester Heights, effectively rendering Howe’s army’s security completely compromised.

I am also told that the watch word that was used by Washington’s troops on that day was “St. Patrick.”

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