Another year, another successful week of commemorating the Battle of Brooklyn, on the 238th anniversary of the historic event.
The week-long list of festivities concluded on August 24, at Green-Wood Cemetery with the annual ceremony presented by the Green-Wood Historic Fund. Hundreds of people of all ages attended the event, and enjoyed activities such as reenactments, trolley tours, a march up Battle Hill and the unveiling of a historic Revolutionary War map.
“Today we remember these early American heroes who perished in the name of independence and freedom,” said President of Green-Wood Cemetery Richard Moylan during the event. “Battle Hill is a Brooklyn landmark that symbolizes an important chapter in the birth of our nation. Here, 238 years ago, we began our fight for freedom. Today, we gather to honor those courageous men who laid down their own lives so that our dream of independence could be realized.”
A trolley tour began the day, taking attendees to the famous cemetery’s Revolutionary War-related sites with Green-Wood historian Jeff Richman and Barnet Schecter, author of The Battle for New York: The City at the Heart of the American Revolution, leading the excursion.
Re-enactments included the firing of cannons and other period weapons, while actors dressed up as historic figures such as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and soldiers rode horses and mingled with the crowd. Attendees were also able to enjoy a performance by the Regimental Band of the United States Merchant Marine Academy which led the memorial parade up Battle Hill. Replica flags used during the war were also on hand.
However, what separated this year’s ceremony from past ones was the unveiling of a rare Revolutionary War map from 1776, which depicts lower Brooklyn and Manhattan. The map was used by Lieutenant-General Hugh Percy and created by British engineer Bernard Ratzer.
“As a steward of the past, Green-Wood is proud to have partnered with the Brooklyn Historical Society in bringing the Percy map — an important and unique piece of history – home to Brooklyn where it belongs,” said Moylan.