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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1940
AUTHOR: John Parker (1729–75)
QUOTATION: Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.
ATTRIBUTION: JOHN PARKER.—George Stimpson, A Book About American History, p. 109 (1950).

Captain Parker said this to his Minutemen troops at Lexington, Massachusetts, on April 19, 1775, as they prepared to meet the British in battle. Inscription on a marker at Lexington green.