By Paula Ebben

LEXINGTON (CBS) – It was a somber and unusually small gathering on the Lexington Battle Green this Patriots’ Day, to commemorate the Battle of Lexington during the Revolutionary War. But the remembrance of those heroes was no less heartfelt, while keeping in mind our heroes of today.

Just five reenactors turned out to remember that pivotal day in 1775 when the Lexington Minutemen faced off against the British, the most powerful army in the world.

READ MORE: Worcester Father Carlos Betancourt Accused Of Swinging Knife, Then Baseball Bat At Teen Lifeguards

“Eight men shed their blood that day on the battle green in defense of our freedoms and defense of our liberties,” said Barry Cunha, a member of today’s Minutemen.

READ MORE: Woman In Critical Condition After Being Shot Near Roslindale Pharmacy

Lexington Minutemen on Patriots’ Day 2020 (WBZ-TV)

“Normally out on the battle green we have 8,000 to 10,000 people gathered,” added Sam Doran, another reenactor.

But Monday morning the green was nearly silent, since the regular commemoration was cancelled due to the coronavirus. “This year is a different Patriots’ Day. We have no reenactment on the common, we have no marathon, no pancake breakfast,” Doran said.

MORE NEWS: Massachusetts Reports 742 New COVID-19 Cases, 8 Additional Deaths

As present day Minutemen remembered their predecessors, they also connected to people today who are on a different front line. “We had our heroes then and we have our heroes now. The heroes then were fighting a physical enemy. The heroes today are fighting and insipid, invisible enemy, but no less putting themselves in harm’s way, much as they did back then,” said Barry Cunha.

Paula Ebben