MINISINK FORD, NY – The 232nd anniversary of the American Revolution’s Battle of Minisink will be commemorated with a July 22 ceremony at the Grave of the Unknown Soldier in Lackawaxen, PA and a July 23 observance at Sullivan County’s Minisink Battlefield Park in Minisink Ford, NY.
Starting Friday evening, July 22, members of the Navasing Long Rifles and Third Ulster Militia will set up an 18th century encampment at the Battlefield Park located on County Rt. 168. The public is welcome to visit through Sunday morning, July 24. On the actual Battle anniversary date of July 22, Pike County Historian George J. Fluhr will host his 37th consecutive commemoration ceremony at 1:30 p.m. at The Grave of the Unknown Soldier on River Road in Lackawaxen, PA. The gravesite holds the remains of a militiaman killed in the 1779 Battle of Minisink but not discovered until 1847.
The approximately half-hour service will include presentation of the colors, an invocation, greetings by dignitaries, a keynote address by District Magistrate Alan Cooper, the reading of the Rowland Account of the Battle, a rifle volley, playing of “Taps”, and a benediction.
Traffic along River Road will be temporarily suspended. Bleacher seating is available for guests. For more information on the Pike County ceremony, please call (570) 559-7444. Across the Upper Delaware River on Saturday, July 23, the formal itinerary begins with a 12-2 p.m. living history program as members of the Navasing Long Rifles and Third Ulster Militia take up positions throughout the Minisink Battlefield Park to describe significant sites in the militia’s bloody skirmish with the British Tories and Mohawks led by Captain Joseph Brant.
At 2:30 p.m. in the park’s open-air pavilion, Indian scholar Frank Salvati of Port Jervis, NY will deliver a program on “Why the Iroquois Participated in the Revolutionary War.” A question-and-answer session will follow.
The July 23 observance moves up to the memorial field at 4 p.m. for the traditional ceremony at which the Sullivan County Division of Public Works sets up chairs and an audio system to accommodate the public. Battle of Minisink observance coordinator Allan Dampman of Liberty, NY will serve as Master of Ceremonies. Historian Peter Osborne of Easton, PA will deliver the keynote address on the topic of “The Spiritual Values of the Men Who Fought at the Battle of Minisink.”
Osborne served as executive director of the Minisink Valley Historical Society from 1981-2009 and is a co-author with Mark Hendrickson and Jon Inners of “So Many Brave Men: A History of the Battle at Minisink Ford”, published in April 2010 by The Pienpack Company.
There will also be: a welcome by Sullivan County Historical Society President William F. Burns; an opening prayer and benediction by Navasing Long Rifles President Anthony Domingo; Presentation of Colors by Sylvan Liebla Post #1363, American Legion, Town of Highland, Tusten-Highland Post #6427, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Navasing Long Rifles; the Pledge of Allegiance led by Don Hogue III; recitation of The American’s Creed by Nancy Madison of the Beaverkill Chapter of the National Society Daughters of American Revolution (DAR); greetings from Town of Highland Supervisor Andrew Boyar, John Crotty of the Sullivan County Veterans Services Agency, and Chief of Interpretation Loren Goering, National Park Service Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River; the keynote address; memorial floral tributes by the Beaverkill and Old Mine Chapters DAR in NY, the Wayne Chapter DAR in PA, and Navasing Long Rifles; a Time for Recollection during which Laurie Ramie, Frank Salvati, George J. Fluhr, and Barbara Gropper will read the names of the battle dead; and a gun salute. At the program’s anticipated 5:15 p.m. conclusion, participants are welcome to enjoy the park’s picnic facilities, which include grills and tables, and self-guided hiking trails.
For more information on the July 23 ceremony, contact Planning Committee Co-chairs Laurie Ramie at (845) 252-3022 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Anthony Domingo at (845) 796-0938. No reservations are necessary to attend either commemoration in PA or NY.