Generally Speaking: Society to remember 11,500 fallen POW’s

On Saturday morning, August 26 at 10 a.m., the Society of Old Brooklynites will hold their 109th memorial tribute to the Prison Ship Martyrs from the American Revolution.

The annual event will take place on the hilltop in Fort Greene Park, at the base of the 149-foot towering Prison Ship Martyrs Monument. Forty feet under this monument is a large crypt containing the actual remains of 11,500 patriots who were captured by the British and incarcerated aboard decrepit prison ships in Brooklyn’s Wallabout Bay under horrific conditions that defy present-day sensibilities.

As part of the 241st commemoration of Brooklyn Battle Week and on the sacred grounds of Monument Plaza, the society program will include an invocation, a maritime piping ceremony and narrative, opera selections, an interpretative dance of mourning, the national anthem, Taps,  the striking of eight slow bells and a wreath laying.

There will also be a  keynote address by society President George Broadhead, a decorated U.S. Marine Corps veteran and an inductee in the New York Senate’s Veterans Hall of Fame.

The FDNY’s elite ceremonial honor guard and Pipes and Drums will take part in the opening proceedings. Brooklyn Historian Ron Schweiger and Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Marty Maher will be attending; both are also society life members.

Included on this page is a file photo of Maher on top of the Monument while it was being rehabilitated.

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The next day (August 27), Green-Wood Cemetery is hosting an array of Battle Week events including a battle skirmish by uniformed re-enactors firing muskets, cannon fire and charging on horseback. Then at 1:30 p.m., there will be a parade up Battle Hill where the Battle of Brooklyn Memorial Society will hold remembrance exercises.

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