Boston marks Patriot’s Day with parade, Revere reenactment

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BOSTON – To commemorate Patriot’s Day, Mayor Marty Walsh joined one of Boston’s favorite sons, Mark Wahlberg, Monday morning at the annual reenactment of the famous ride by Paul Revere and William Dawes in front of the city’s historic Old North Church.

“Patriot’s Day helps us show our strength,” Walsh said. “Boston has always been a city of proud patriots.”

The event was preceded by a flag ceremony on City Hall Plaza and a parade that stopped to lay wreaths on the graves of Dawes in the King’s Chapel cemetery on Tremont Street and Revere in the Old Granary Burial Ground on the other side of the street a block away.

“Today we reserve special honor for our veterans,” said Walsh, who attended events over the past few days to say thanks to veterans. “It is a proud reminder of how many heroes live with us.”

Wahlberg, a Boston native who rose to stardom as a singer and became a Hollywood actor, is directing a movie to be called “Patriot’s Day” about the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. Many scenes are being filmed in Boston and the surrounding area.

The JROTC at City Hall Plaza during the flag ceremony
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The Wilmington Minutemen, East Boston Army Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corp Clipper Battalion and the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts joined the parade. The route wound its way through downtown Boston to reach its final destination at the Paul Revere Mall in the North End.

The annual commemoration concluded with Wahlberg and Walsh handing the fateful message carried by Revere to this year’s re-enactment rider, Brigadier General Leonid Kondratiuk of the Massachusetts National Lancers and escort Corporal Christine Leboeuf who then rode to Charlestown, Somerville, Medford, Arlington and Lexington, site of the first skirmish with British Redcoats.

“The sad thing is, today is Patriot’s Day and it’s been Patriot’s Day for many years but people are watching the road race,” said Paul Colella, who served as the 304th captain of Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts until 2013. “It’s become less ceremonial and more holiday like.”

Established in 1638 to train militia officers in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Colella’s organization is the oldest chartered military unit in North America and the third oldest in the world, after the Vatican’s Swiss Guard in 1507 and the Honorable Artillery Company of London in 1537.

“It’s a very good bond,” said, Gerard C. McCarthy, the unit’s captain until last year, about being part of the company. “It’s a great group of guys.”

The unit is headquartered in Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall and its members are mostly veterans. The organization also planned to march in the Lexington Patriot’s Day parade later Monday.