I am an avid avian lover. I volunteered at a wildlife clinic for one summer and got to take care of birds of all kinds. Anything from sparrows to red-tailed hawks to swans to even an albatross. I adopted one of the orphan pigeons that came into the clinic that summer. So if you ever have any bird questions, or find injured wildlife, I’m your go-to-person.
I am also a member of the National Lancers, a ceremonial cavalry troop in the Massachusetts Organized Militia that was established in 1836. The National Lancers is a volunteer group, made up of 30 active members and 10 horses. They are responsible for all of the care and keeping of the horses, the stables, and the grounds. Every day, a Lancer is on site either feeding the horses, mowing the fields, or fixing fences. And every Thursday they hold mounted drill, where they practice their maneuvers. All of the hard work is worth it because in my free time, I can go and ride any of the horses. My favorite horse is named Patriot, who was born at the Lancer stables on Patriot’s Day.
Outside of the daily upkeep, the National Lancers are attending parades and ceremonial events throughout the state. They will ride in up to 30 events a year. They raise money for the horses by riding in parades and each year they hold a Lancer Trot “fun run” in the fall to fundraise. It’s a great event where the community can come and meet the horses (and feed them some tasty carrots). The most exciting event of the year is the annual reenactment of Paul Revere’s ride. On Patriot’s Day in the spring, the troop will take out two squads, one representing the ride of Paul Revere and one for William Dawes (who also rode on that fateful night). They will ride from the North End in Boston where they receive a letter from the mayor, and from Roslindale. They ride all the way to Lexington, reading the “Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” along the way and raising the alarm that the “Regulars are out!”. It’s a great way to keep history alive and get out in the community.
The Lancers, as their namesake suggests, do carry lances on parade, although they are just for ceremonial purposes. They carry the American flag, the Massachusetts flag, and the National Lancer’s flag with their battle streamers. The Lancers have participated in campaigns from the Civil War through World War II, although they did not contribute as a mounted unit in the later battles. For even more details about the history of the National Lancers you can check out their website at www.nationallancers.org.