TICONDEROGA- The Ticonderoga, the First 250 Years Committee sponsored a Memorial Day celebration on May 28 at the Mount Hope Cemetery.
Although Veterans from all wars were honored, this was a special tribute to Civil War Veterans as the group begins to observe the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
"The Civil War sesquicentennial provides an occasion for us to rediscover the significance of the vital roles our military played in the war that changed our nation," said June Curtis of the committee and Ticonderoga Historical Society.
William Dolback provided the welcome and introduced the program "not as a grand presentation but as an old-fashioned gathering of community friends and neighbors with heart-felt sentiments."
The public met at the gravesite of Lester Goodel Hack, a Medal of Honor veteran buried here in Mount Hope. A native of Vermont, he made his home in north Ticonderoga in the vicinity of the current International Paper Company location. The ceremony paid tribute to him and to all Civil War veterans buried in Mount Hope as well as those buried in Streetroad, Ingalls and the Vineyard cemeteries.
The VFW Color Guard formally opened and closed the service.
The highlight of the ceremony was the reading aloud of the names of the Civil War veterans by five young men. Alex Sharrow, Jonathan West, Nathaniel McLaughlin, Peter Dubie and Xann Tyler in turn stood and recited the names of the veterans and the cemeteries in which they were buried.
Roberta Whitely read a poem written circa 1925 by her mother, Myrtle E. Sweet, titled "Memorial Day." Excerpts from "The Centenarian's Story" by Walt Whitman, known as the Civil War poet, were recited by June Curtis and Robert Lamb. Chris Smith read "The Flag of our Country," a poem written by Trythena Wiley. Wiley and her husband, George Wiley who fought in the Civil War, are buried in Ingalls Cemetery.
Over the next few years Ticonderoga will be celebrating the 250th anniversary of its settlement in 1764 and the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 along with the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War. A town committee, co-sponsored by the Ticonderoga Heritage Museum and the Ticonderoga Historical Society, has been formed to lead the community in commemorating these historical events. This Memorial Day ceremony to Honor Civil War Veterans is the first of several activities to be coordinated by the committee.
"The Ticonderoga, the First 250 Years Committee invites the community to join the effort to preserve and share our common past," Curtis said. "We encourage individuals, organizations and businesses to celebrate the development of our town over the first 250 years with projects, events and activities that can be shared at any time from the present through 2014, the commemorative year, and preserved as a legacy thereafter. Please consider attending our meetings on the third Wednesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. at the Hancock House."
For additional information contact the Ticonderoga Historical Society at firstname.lastname@example.org or 585-7868.