SACKETS HARBOR The names of 42 Canadian and British soldiers who died in the Second Battle of Sackets Harbor and are buried here will have a permanent place of veneration in the village, as a pair of monuments to them were dedicated Saturday.
Col. Howard G. Coombs, commander of the 33 Canadian Brigade Group, said the monuments are a way to honor the memory of the fallen.
This is a sacred trust, one we cannot fail, he said.
The soldiers are buried at unknown locations around the battlefield site, and American and Canadian experts put in extensive research to confirm their names.
The dedications, held as part of the villages War of 1812 history weekend, drew dozens of village residents, history enthusiasts and government and military representatives to Ontario Street.
The first monument honors members of New Brunswick 104th Regiment of Foot, which traveled about 700 miles during the winter of 1813 from its home province to Ontario, then sustained heavy casualties in the May 29, 1813, battle.
The second monument pays tribute to the 42 members of the 1st Royal Scots, 8th Foot, 100th Foot, 104th Foot, Royal Newfoundland Fencibles, Nova Scotia Fencibles, Glengarry Light Infantry Fencibles, Royal Navy and Voltigeurs Canadiens who died in the battle and whose remains are buried in the village.
The ceremonies highlighted the deep friendship that has developed between the United States, Canada and Britain in the time since the War of 1812.
This may have been the start of the end of hostilities between the Crown Forces and Americans, but its also the start of a 200-year alliance between the Canadians, British and Americans, said British Army Maj. Gareth J. Boyd.
Maj. Boyd, who through an exchange program serves as the 10th Mountain Divisions director of future operations, spoke positively about his experiences working with American and Canadian counterparts during overseas deployments.
The two monuments were paid for through fundraising efforts from government, private and nonprofit entities on both sides of the border.
Its amazing to me; we had this idea and now its a reality, said Brian T. Macdonald, Canadian Legislative Assembly member for New Brunswick and chairman of the provinces 1812 committee. It took a lot of teamwork and partnership to make that happen.
Saturdays ceremonies also served as an unlikely introduction for descendents of Pvt. Timothy Woodward, one of the members of the New Brunswick 104th Regiment of Foot who died in the battle. Immediately after the dedications, Jerry N. Pellum, a great-great-great-grandson of Pvt. Woodward, met his distant cousin Aaron R. Clarke, Pvt. Woodwards great-great-great-grandnephew, for the first time.
The two learned of each other when they each tried to sponsor Pvt. Woodwards name on the monument. Mr. Pellum, of Ventura, Calif., traveled to the village with his son Gunner J., Cameron Park, Calif., while Mr. Clarke and his wife, Julie, traveled from London, Ontario.
I came all this way to see this, Mr. Pellum said, pointing to the Crown Forces monument.
Mr. Pellum said he felt the connection to Pvt. Woodward as the wreath was laid at the foot of the stone.
Its real, he said. He died here.
Following the dedication ceremonies, the battlefield site hosted a tactical re-enactment, along with a presentation from professor Donald R. Hickey of Wayne State College, Wayne, Neb.
The living history weekend will conclude today with a series of re-enactments starting at 9 a.m. and going through the afternoon. A schedule can be found at www.sacketsharborbattlefield.org/schedule.htm.
The full list of Crown Forces members honored at the newly dedicated monuments can be found at http://wdt.me/EqHkBw. Video from Saturdays events around the battlefield can be found at http://wdt.me/3Te2pB.