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Commemorations Battle of Bunker Hill Revolutionary War Discussion

Commemorations Battle of Bunker Hill Revolutionary War Discussion

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 05:24 PM

John Trumbull's painting, The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker Hill, while an idealized and inaccurate depiction of Warren's death, shows a number of participants in the battle. John Small, a British officer who was among those storming the redoubt, was a friend of Israel Putnam's and an acquaintance of Trumbull. He is depicted holding Warren and preventing a redcoat from bayoneting him.

The Bunker Hill Monument is an obelisk that stands 221 feet (67 m) high on Breed's Hill. On June 17, 1825, the fiftieth anniversary of the battle, the cornerstone of the monument was laid by the Marquis de Lafayette and an address delivered by Daniel Webster. (When Lafayette died, he was buried next to his wife at the Cimetière de Picpus under soil from Bunker Hill, which his son Georges sprinkled upon him.)The Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge was specifically designed to evoke this monument.There is also a statue of William Prescott showing him calming his men down.

The National Park Service operates a museum dedicated to the battle near the monument, which is part of the Boston National Historical Park. A cyclorama of the battle was added in 2007 when the museum was renovated.

In nearby Cambridge, a small granite monument just north of Harvard Yard bears this inscription: "Here assembled on the night of June 16, 1775, 1200 Continental troops under command of General Prescott. After prayer by President Langdon, they marched to Bunker Hill." See footnote for picture. (Samuel Langdon, a Congregational minister, was Harvard's 11th president.) Another small monument nearby marks the location of the Committee of Safety, which had become the Patriots' provisional government as Tories left Cambridge. These monuments are on the lawn to the west of Harvard's Littaeur Center, which is itself the west of Harvard's huge Science Center.

Bunker Hill Day, observed every June 17, is a legal holiday in Suffolk County, Massachusetts (which includes the city of Boston), as well as Somerville in Middlesex County. Prospect Hill, site of colonial fortifications overlooking the Charlestown Neck, is now located in Somerville, which was previously part of Charlestown. State institutions in Massachusetts (such as public institutions of higher education) located in Boston also celebrate the holiday. However, the state's FY2011 budget requires that all state and municipal offices in Suffolk County be open on Bunker Hill Day and Evacuation Day.

On June 16 and 17, 1875, the centennial of the battle was celebrated with a military parade and a reception featuring notable speakers, among them General William Tecumseh Sherman and Vice President Henry Wilson. It was attended by dignitaries from across the country.Celebratory events also marked the sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) in 1925 and the bicentennial in 1975.


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