Re-enactors fire a musket salute during the 2018 service. Photo by Julie Diddell
The annual Memorial Service honoring the eight French soldiers who died in Van Cortlandtville, New York, during the Revolutionary War will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 4, 2021, at Old Saint Peter’s Church. French forces used the church as a military hospital in 1781 and 1782 when they were in the area before and after the victory of Generals Washington and Rochambeau over the British in Yorktown, Virginia, in October 1781. The church is one of 15 New York sites marked with National Park Service waysides (dedicated in 2015).
The 30-minute service, continuing a tradition started by the Van Cortlandtville Historical Society in 2001, will include a background talk by Jeff Canning (past president of the society and currently recording secretary of the National Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Association), a bilingual prayer, a musket salute by uniformed re-enactors and a mourn arms ceremony.
Please wear a face covering and observe social distancing because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Please bring an umbrella to protect yourself against the sun (or rain). Based on current health regulations, the entire service will be held outdoors in the cemetery if the church cannot be opened to the public.