By Dan Dakin, Niagara Falls Review
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Many War of 1812 bicentennial events have been held around the region this year, but few have the history of Sunday’s Battle of Lundy’s Lane Commemorative Service.
The annual service held at Drummond Hill Cemetery is billed as Remembrance Day in July by the Lundy’s Lane Historical Society, which has been putting on the service for the past 125 years.
“It has always been set up as a remembrance ceremony,” said historical society president Bill Houston.
He said it’s important to keep remembering all aspects of the war – not just to celebrate victory.
“If you can avoid it becoming like a hockey game with guns and avoid the triumphalism that some people indulge in and remember the worthwhile elements that come out of a conflict like the self-sacrifice and the standing up for one’s ideals. These are lessons we can take in our daily lives,” he said.
There was a big crowd at Sunday’s service, but Houston is hoping the interest in the War of 1812’s bicentennial doesn’t wane.
“Anything that looks like a fad – that people are suddenly into – can wear out its welcome, whether it’s a good fad or a bad fad,” he said. “If everything is War of 1812 for a few months, people may have had enough of it. That’s what we’re concerned about. We want people to realize the war lasted two and a half years and that many important events occurred after the start of the war.”
One of the biggest events on the bicentennial calendar will be the 200th Battle of Lundy’s Lane anniversary commemorative service, which is slated to be held on July 25, 2014.
“We’re hoping for a big crowd for the 200th in a couple of years. Planning is under way. We have a lot of preliminary work done,” Houston said.
Exactly where the ceremony will be held hasn’t been decided yet, but it will need to be moved to a bigger location than the Drummond Hill Cemetery. Houston said he’s watching to see what happens with the old Battlefield School site since that could be an appropriate location for the event.