….Ceremonial at Bunker Hill….
Greetings all, and the joy of the day to you. It is Sunday, Dec. 9th, 2012, and the Troop, and Friends, are waking to a beautiful day. The sun appears to be out in full force, sort of, ducking now and then behind some fast moving clouds. The day’s plan is to return to Boston, for perhaps the last time this week, to attend a ceremonial to be held at the Bunker Hill Monument. The Ceremonial is to be held at 1:00 of the Clock in the Afternoon, this will give us some time to rise, shower, dress and have a quick bite to eat. We are planing on getting to the Monument area early so that we might take a walk through the USS Constitution, Old Ironsides, before the official program begins.
Thus, it is a bit relaxed this morning. We are finished with the March to Boston, the March of Gratitude. It is ‘officially’ complete, we have attained the destination and done what we set out to do. We are thinking it is time to go home, but, not quite yet. We all meet in the lobby of the Inn, have a quick cup of coffee, and board our carriages for the ride back to Boston, to the Monument area. It is an easy ride, it being Sunday morning, not much traffic yet on the roads. While the sun is out, it is breezy, with a winter’s chill in the air.
We arrive at the Bunker Hill Monument, an imposing and regal structure, a couple of hours before the scheduled ceremonial time. We are able to park our carriages close by, and then we walk down to the USS Constitution, setting proud and pretty at the naval dock there. We are allowed to enter, after a brief examination at the entrance, and we walk out to America’s most Famous Ship of the Line. It is a marvelous artifact of another time, beautifully built for strength and power, and lovingly maintained by the US Navy. This ship is still on the list of active duty ships, yet it is some 215 years old, built in Boston and launched in 1797. It carried a crew of some 450 Sailors and Marines.
The ship is in wonderful shape, you can smell the tar (used aboard ship…the Sailors were also called ‘tars’) as soon as you set foot on the fore deck. The decks are cleaned, the lines are coiled, the brass is polished. It is cold. The current crew, like all crews before, happily share a pride of service and history. If only the planks could talk…! but the crew does talk, quite well, retelling the story of times long past, explaining the ‘this does that’ to the publick.
We stayed and chatted with the crew some, and again, we had to leave to attend to our own final duties, the closing of the March to Boston. We navigated our way back up the hill to the Monument, to await there the beginning of the end, for us. The event was hosted, I believe, by the W3R of Massachusetts, with Alan Hoffman leading off. We met many old friends there that day, including Serge Gabriel, Arnold Carlson, Richard Sheryka…as well as our friends in honor, the Regiments Bourbannais and St. Oinge. John Kelly, Dan Dudley, Norm Desmarais, Nick Spada, Dr. Bob Selig also joined with us, as did Ursella Reed and others. These folks all helped us successfully realize the culmination of two dreams, 6 years and some 750 miles. They are not the only folks we will thank, they are just the folks that I remember seeing that day, Sunday, Dec. 9th, 2012. So many good folks have crossed our paths, so many memories…
The Ceremonial was begun with the National Colors presented by the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, followed by speakers, including us, to the assembly. I think there were approx. 100 people there, interested in what we had done and willing to say thank you… we say, thank you back, without your support it would not have been possible, at all.
The day ended as it began, windy and chilly, December in New England. The Portraits were taken, the carriages filled, the last good byes offered, it is time to go home and think of the next historic trek…hmmm, maybe we will float next time…
Thank you America…..