The American Revolution has a huge birthday coming up -- its 250th, in 2025. Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and others of the original 13 colonies began their own preparations years ago, but in Massachusetts state support did not materialize. Now, thanks to a Healey-Driscoll initiative, a proper effort is underway.
In a "supplemental budget" filed today for the current budget year, the Governor proposes $2 million in funding to jumpstart state-level preparations. We’re getting serious about using our highest-profile moment in decades to present Massachusetts to the nation and the world in its best light -- its past, for sure, but also its present and future.
The War for Independence went on for years and spread throughout the colonies, but 1775 was Massachusetts’ time. We front-ended the Revolution. Lexington, Concord, Lincoln, Arlington, and Bunker Hill and the Siege of Boston happened in 1775. For the country and the world, we have a simple message: It started here.
I first broached the subject to the Lt. Governor in December and to the Governor in February, and over the space of several weeks they conceived and launched this rescue. I really appreciate their willingness to listen. Right away, they understood what’s at stake. This thing was stymied but now, thanks to them, it’s moving. We’re behind in the game but our first team, our starters, are taking the court.
Because I represent so many historic places, my district has a lot riding on 2025. But so do Boston, Cambridge, and Arlington -- three other communities in the line of march on April 19th -- plus Braintree, Salem, Marblehead, Gloucester, Framingham, Worcester, Somerville, and a host of other places important now and important then.
Beginning 24 months from now, we can expect scads of visitors, VIPs included. President Ulysses S. Grant came for the 100th, in 1875. President Gerald Ford came for the 200th, in 1975. All of which means trade for local businesses, not to mention justified pride, which will be good, and crowds and traffic and security costs, which will be problematic.
The House and the Senate will work plenty of changes to this supplemental budget, which contains a number of important other items. But here’s hoping everyone receiving this message will speak out and help carry this $2 million for “Rev 250” across the finish line.
In appreciation to all of you --