Search This Blog

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day

July 4th is celebrates in the US as Independence Day, the day the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. I always found that interesting because the Continental Congress declared independence 2 days earlier. The war stretched on for 5 more years, essentially ending only with the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown in October 19th 1781. Technically, we remained at war until the Paris Treaty of 1783, at which point Britain officially recognised the United States as independent.

On a parallel line, the Second Continental Congress created the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union which were ratified March 1 1781. Of course, the Confederation didn't last that long, and was eventually replaced with the current United States Constitution, adopted September 17th 1787, finally ratified on June21st 1788.

None of those dates are celebrated or recognised in any way. Celebrations aren't logical I guess! For many Americans, this is a day of outdoor barbecues, fireworks and a day off from work.

This memorial is in Vale Cemetery, overlooking the Cowhorn Creek. I was very surprised to see it decorated with US flags - it seemed as if only vandals and people looking for a secluded place to have a beer party came down here. Those flags might not be memorable to anyone except me and the people who placed the flags, but that's why I have a blog!

The text of the monument reads:


Sacred to the Memory of FIFTY SEVEN AMERICAN SOLDIERS Who were buried at Schenectady during the REVOLUTION. Their remains were disinterred Nov. 1854 and reinterred with MILITARY honors In August 1859. They were again removed and placed beneath this stone

(at this point the inscription wraps around and I haven't got a photo of that side! Oops. I'll toddle back and get that photo ASAP.)

A strange coincidence on this date. The two Presidents who signed the Declaration of Independence (Adams and Jefferson) both died within hours of each other exactly 50 years later, July 4th 1826.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this post. You share important information about our history that somehow gets ignored in the hoopla of July 4.


The spammers have struck. Due to this I will be moderating all comments. Sorry for the hassle, but it's the only choice because I refuse to turn on word verification.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin