Monday, May 27, 2013

"Don't give up the ship"

"In the decade following the Revolutionary War the young American republic and the British empire remained uneasy neighbors in North America. This unrest led to a second conflict, 'a forgotten war,' the War of 1812."

So begins the brochure we picked up at Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial on the island of Put-In-Bay, Ohio. Put-In-Bay is the site of Oliver Hazard Perry's victory over the British Navy on September 10, 1813 aboard the Brig Niagara, whose replica ship is permanently docked in Erie right behind the main branch of our county library along the bay. It was in that battle that Perry issued his most memorable words, "We have met the enemy and they are ours..." and raised the flag over the Niagara, "Don't give up the ship."

We visited this memorial--a 350+ foot tower erected in Put-In-Bay in 1913 to commemorate the centennial of the battle and the 100 years of peace between the US, Britain and Canada. The 200th anniversary of Perry's victory is being celebrated throughout the summer in Put-In-Bay and in Erie. If you're coming to Erie at all this summer, you might just consider connecting with one of the events: Erie's Perry 200 celebration. The grand finale will be on Labor Day weekend.

By the way, many Erie-ites may now make the connection to our Perry School, Perry Square, Perry Street, Perry Monument, Perry Landing, Perry Plastics, Perry Plaza, and probably a few more I've forgotten!

The victory and peace memorial is part of the National Parks system and is open to visitors throughout the summer. The remains of 3 British and 3 American officers killed during the battle are buried within it.

Young, 28 years old, Oliver Hazard Perry is depicted in this statue in the visitors' center which presents wonderful information and displays about the War of 1812 that ended in January 1815 with Gen. Andrew Jackson's defeat of the British in New Orleans.

One of the displays.

In another vein, we attended Sunday liturgy in the island's Catholic Church and were part of a parish,witnessing the baptism of Xavier, son of Bobby, holding him, and his mother Pookie,
(dark hair).