For Hamilton, it was the War of 1813

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  • Mark McNeil
  • Thu Mar 28 2013

Events in the year after 1812 were more significant for area

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John Rennison/The Hamilton Spectator Alex Mihajlovic struggles with her cover as students from Green Acres School joined in the activities.

It sounds a little odd to be commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812 in 2013. Some might think we’re a little late for the party after all the activities last year.

But when it comes to Hamilton-area involvement in the war that lasted for two years and eight months, 1813 was more significant.

It was the year of the Battle of Stoney Creek — on June 6, 1813 — when British soldiers surprised a huge encampment of American soldiers in Stoney Creek with a nighttime raid that drove the invaders into retreat.

It was also when the American warships Scourge and Hamilton sank in Lake Ontario — on Aug. 8, 1813 — in a violent storm with 53 sailors losing their lives.

Hamilton’s Mayor Bob Bratina announced Wednesday the city will be acknowledging the war’s anniversary with numerous events including a special re-enactment of the Battle of Stoney Creek, a tall ship festival, a marching band tattoo and a memorial ceremony for the sailors aboard the American naval schooners.

Bratina said the war is “critically important” in Canada’s history.

“This is our heritage. (Canada) may not be here today without the events that took place 200 years ago.”

The city’s commemoration is built around four “Signature Events” run by the municipality, as well as numerous other events in the community managed by various other groups.

SIGNATURE EVENTS TO COMMEMORATE THE WAR OF 1812

Battle of Stoney Creek Re-enactment
What:
A special version of the annual event featuring demonstrations, entertainment and fireworks as well as re-enactments of the historic battle.
Where and when: June 1 and 2 at Battlefield House Museum and Park, 77 King St. W., Stoney Creek.
Information: 905-662-8458 or battlefield@hamilton.ca

Canadian International Military Tattoo
What:
The annual tattoo will feature a commemoration of the Battle of Stoney Creek.
Where and when: Copps Coliseum, June 8 at 7:30 p.m. and June 9 at 2:30 p.m.
Information: 905-523-1753 or info@canadianmilitarytattoo.ca

Tall Ships Hamilton
What:
Several tall ships will be docked at Pier 8 for viewing (for a fee) along with free, on-land activities.
When: June 28 to 30
Information: 905-546-2424 ext. 5771 or www.1812hamilton.com

Hamilton and Scourge memorials
Sept. 4:
An invitation-only event aboard the Canadian Coast Guard ship Griffon at the site of the sunken warships in Lake Ontario. The ceremony will be recorded for use in a film titled On-the-Water and broadcast in real time online.
Sept. 21: A daylong event to “celebrate 200 years of peace and remember the 53 American sailors who lost their lives” aboard the sunken naval schooners. The film On-the-Water will be shown.
Information: 905-546-2424 (ext. 2530) or www.hamilton-scourge.hamilton.ca

Other events
For information about other events go to 1812Hamilton.com or see the city’s eight-page publication, Hamilton War of 1812 Bicentennial.

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/909639–a-year-to-commemorate-hamilton-s-role-in-the-war-of-1812

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