The Little Falls Historical Society will partner with the Yellow Church Cemetery Association to host a Patriots Day observance at their historic site beginning at 11:00 AM on Saturday May 20. The rain date is Sunday May 21 at the same time. The event is free and open to the public.
This program will feature a number of short addresses on various local history topics and the laying of a Daughters of the American Revolution wreath. The playing of TAPS will conclude the approximately hour-long event. This will be the eleventh local Patriots Day observance.
As many as fifty Revolutionary War veterans are buried in Yellow Church Cemetery, many having fought at the pivotal August 6, 1777 Battle of Oriskany which was crucial to the eventual defeat of British forces at the Battle of Saratoga later that fall.
LOCAL PATRIOTS DAY
At the urging of the Historical Society, the City of Little Falls established a local Patriots Day in 2010 to be observed each year on the third Saturday in May. Then Mayor Robert Peters issued a proclamation recognizing this annual observance.
Seeking to expand this observance to other communities and organizations, the Historical Society has in past years co-hosted annual Patriots Day events at: General Nicholas Herkimer Home, Fort Herkimer Church, Snell’s Bush Church, the former Masonic Temple in Little Falls, the Reformed Church at Historic Four Corners in Herkimer, Paines Hollow Baptist Church, Historic Trinity in Fairfield, Emanuel Episcopal Church in Little Falls, and, last year, at Norway Rural Cemetery. The first local Patriots Day event was held at Yellow Church Cemetery in 2010. Full circle in 2023.
Patriots Day began in 1894 as a New England regional observance, and, in 1934, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts established the third Monday in April as a state holiday commemorating the April 19, 1775 beginning of the Revolutionary War when American Minute Men and British troops skirmished at Lexington and Concord. The epic Battle of Bunker Hill followed on June 17, 1775.
Anyone who has attended Patriots Day activities in Boston can attest to the patriotic emotions that are raised. The viewing of the somber bagpipe-led procession as it snakes its way through the streets of Boston on route to pay proper tribute at the graves of Revolutionary War heroes with rifle salutes is indeed a moving experience. Patriots Day also includes reenactments at key Boston Revolutionary War landmark sites along its historic red line. The running of the Boston Marathon and the Red Sox home opener add to the celebratory mood.