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Honoring America’s Patriots

James Armistead Lafayette was born into slavery in 1760. As a child, he spent much of his time indoors as a manservant to his master’s son. There, he learned to read and write in English and French, and over the course of his teenage years, he developed an extensive knowledge of Virginia’s terrain.  

In 1781, James enlisted in the Continental Army and joined the Marquis de Lafayette’s French Allied units. The Army quickly discovered his extensive knowledge of both the regional landscape and the French language and dispatched him to pose as a runaway slave to gain entrance into the enemy’s camp. The British received him without suspicion and assigned him to work under Benedict Arnold. 

Over time, James gleaned crucial intelligence that he relayed back to the American camp. This enabled them to deflect enemy advancements, create strategic blockades, and ultimately secure independence for the new nation.  

Layfette’s story has inspired countless people through the years to take risks in the name of liberty and accomplish big things to achieve the American Dream.  

Each year on the third Monday of April, Patriot’s Day is celebrated in Maine and Massachusetts to remember the people and acts of bravery that laid the foundations for our nation. This day, and every day, we remember and honor the Americans that lost their lives in pursuit of protecting the American Dream and those who dedicate their time every day to ensure others can reach their American Dream.  

We thank our nation’s veterans, active military members, teachers, first responders, and health care workers who serve for the betterment of those around them.  

The American Dream would not be possible without the sacrifice of the people before us and around us. We must work to ensure the American Dream can prosper. Today, and every day, we thank America’s patriots.