Brooklynites remember America’s first veterans: the Maryland 400

August 26, 2011 Heather Chin
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Brooklyn kicked off Battle Week with a ceremony spotlightingAmerican war heroes who died over 200 years ago.

The annual Maryland 400 Remembrance Ceremony and parade – thefirst events in the annual Battle Week observation that occurs eachAugust to commemorate the Battle of Brooklyn — took place onSaturday morning, August 20, in Park Slope.

As it does every year, the event drew dozens of people out intothe sunshine to honor 400 of the soldiers of the nascent UnitedStates of America’s first armies, who gave their lives in the firstmajor battle of the Revolutionary War.

The ceremony began with a reading of the names at the Michael A.Rawley Post on Eighth Street and Third Avenue, followed by a marchto the Old Stone House on Fifth Avenue.

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They were the first veterans for our just-born country and Irespect that, said Peter J. De Angelis Jr., 2nd District Commanderof the Sons of the American Legion. I participate every year, asdoes my father, [a Korean War veteran and chair of the BrooklynMemorial Day Parade Committee].

Upcoming highlights of Battle Week include a day of events atGreen-Wood Cemetery on Sunday, August 28. In the morning, theBrooklyn Irish American Parade Committee will march from the maingate at Fifth Avenue and 25th Street to commemorate Irishcontributions to the American colonists’ cause.

Then, beginning at 12:30 p.m., there will be a historicreenactment inside the main gate, a parade to the top of BattleHill, at 1:30 p.m., and a memorial ceremony scheduled for 2 p.m.sponsored by the Committee to Commemorate the Battle ofBrooklyn.

A day earlier, on Saturday, August 27, at 10 a.m., the Societyof Old Brooklynites will hold its annual Prison Ships MartyrsMemorial Ceremony at the memorial in Fort Greene Park to paytribute to the fledgling nation’s first POWs.

Also on Saturday, re-enactors will participate in the GreatEscape, which highlights the exploits of General John Glover’sMarblehead Regiment at Brooklyn Bridge Park at Main Street inDUMBO.

The Battle of Brooklyn is also known as the Battle of LongIsland. This year is its 235th anniversary.

Helen Klein contributed reporting to this article.


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