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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Calendar > Arts and Culture

A Day of History, A Day of Inspiration

By Kaitlin Carney - reporter/photographer

Congressman Christopher P. Gibson addressed those in attendance at the 237th Commemoration of the Battle of Minisink.
BARRYVILLE — Under an unrelenting sun, nearly 100 people gathered to pay tribute to the fallen in a pivotal battle of the American Revolution.
The VFW Post 6427, representing Tusten, Highland and Lumberland, stood side by side with reenactors from the Navasing Longrifles to provide both a color guard and the Military Salute, as the 237th Commemoration of the Battle of Minisink found young and old assembled to honor, pay tribute, and learn.
County Historian John Conway was Master of Ceremonies, and provided an overview of the Battle.
The event, held at the Minisink Battleground Memorial near the Roebling Bridge in Barryville, paid tribute to the lives lost, while also providing a unique look into the events of July 22, 1779 through reenactments.
The Battle of Minisink was the only major clash of the American Revolutionary War that occurred in Sullivan County or in the northern Delaware Valley.
Chairman of the Sullivan County Legislature, Luis Alvarez offered a welcome address along with his colleague Nadia Rajsz, who led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Barbara Loyal, Regent, of the Minisink Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) guided attendees through the American's Creed before Congressman Christopher P. Gibson presented a moving keynote address.
Congressman Gibson, an historian and decorated Veteran, spoke of the importance of the Battle of Minisink, regardless of its glaring loss on the battlefield. “We will remember always those that have laid down their lives for our freedoms … we have reason to gather on sacred ground to remember. What was sacrificed here truly changed the history of mankind. When historians come together to cite the 10 most influential moments in the history of the world, this revolution is in the top 10. ... What we did was radical. We formed a government of the people, by the people, for the people. … What we did was optimistic and realistic. ... We gather today to give thanks for those who gave their lives at the Battle of Minisink and on every battlefield in support of these ideals.”
Members of the Navasing Longrifles participated in a solemn reading of the 46 known names of those that perished during the Battle, after memorial flowers were placed at the monument by the DAR.
Conway reported that the Delaware Company is launching a fundraising initiative to purchase and install a permanent monument plaque with the names of the fallen. “With the cooperation of the Sullivan County Legislature and Department of Public Works, we hope to install the plaque after securing grant funding and fundraising to complete it.” County Commander of the VFW, Peter Carmeci, would later pledge $500 to the fundraising initiative on behalf of the VFW.
To complete the ceremony a Benediction was offered. “We have the great fortune to be blessed with terrific reenactors, including young people who have taken an interest,” Conway explained while introducing 13-year-old Leo Kehagias. Leo played a touching and mournful “Ashokan Farewell” on the violin to complete the Commemoration.

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