Patriot Day vs. Patriots' Day Smackdown

Since 2002, September 11 has been celebrated as Patriot Day to honor the memory of the nearly 3,000 who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Patriot Day is a catchier title than what the day was originally called, the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for the Victims of the Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001. But Patriot Day still musters up confusion considering America already celebrates Patriots’ Day, which is sometimes spelled Patriot’s Day or Patriots Day.

That Patriots’ Day – not to be confused with victory-parade day for a certain cheating NFL franchise – commemorates the American Revolutionary War's first shots fired at Lexington and Concord. It's been all but forgotten; one of the few Americans to make a big deal out of Patriots' Day did so in 1995 when he slaughtered 168 people in the Oklahoma City federal building.

Ah, the good ol' days, when the slaughter of 168 people in a federal building was considered the worst act of single-day terrorism in U.S. history. Now Patriot Day is associated with widespread international terrorism, and Patriots' Day is lumped in with wimpier domestic terrorism.


It's small wonder Patriots' Day gets so little love. Like Patriot Day, Patriots’ Day will not get you a paid day off from work, unless you reside in Massachusettes or Maine.

Patriots’ Day used to be celebrated every April 19, but in recent years has switched to the third Monday of each April so it affords a nice three-day weekend for revelers. The Boston Marathon is always run on Patriots’ Day, and Major League Baseball schedulers try to keep the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park every Patriots’ Day.

The next Patriots’ Day falls on April 20, which means at 4:20 on 4/20/09, a lot of folks are going to symbolically use the rocket’s red glare of their Bic lighters to spark one up for freedom. Otherwise, the terrorists, King George and those cheatin' New England Patriots win!

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