Battle weekend: The British, the Colonials and the crowd
“Go back home!”
“Lobster backs, get out of here!
“Hang King George!”
The colonial militia shouted their disdain, as well as firing from behind their barricade, at the British troops.
Of course, the British commander had prompted the verbal abuse, arrogantly shouting, “Get off the King’s highway!” at the rebels on Main Street, prompting boos from the crowd near the library.
By the time the battle reached town hall, the crowd was chanting “No more king! No more king!”
“Wouldn’t you rather have a king and Parliament than the Congress you have today?” a British officer retorted.
And the redcoats and their green-coated loyalist allies — having chased the colonial militia a little further south on Main Street — smashed furniture they’d dragged to the center of the road, and abused a dummy in continental army garb so badly its head came of.
All in fun, though — it was a reenactment.
After the battle
And after Saturday’s battle had worked its way south to Jesse Lee Church, where the cannon was fired twice in the general direction of the Keeler Tavern, the two armies marched together back to Lounsbury House for ceremonies honoring all veterans and the long and close alliance that between the two nations that followed the painful separation of the colonies from their mother country.
“I want to thank you very much for allowing us to come,” said the redcoat officer who’d taunted the colonials and their supporting crowds told First Selectman Rudy Marconi and American Legion commander George Besse at the Community Center’s Veterans Monument.
“We’d like to conclude by saluting both nations, Great Britain and the United States of America.”
“Thank you all very very much,” said Marconi said the reenactors of both armies. “It has probably been one of the best history lessons any child or adult could experience.”
‘A ship, at my side’
Marconi also introduced James Woolsey to the crowd. The former CIA director and undersecretary of the Navy was the Jerusalem 49 Masonic Lodge’s VIP guest speaker later Saturday night.
In front of the crowds, Woolsey praised the cooperative relationship that had grown between United States and Great Britain — “our ally, and ally as far as the eye can see,” Woolsey said.
“We’re doing everything we can to bring peace and freedom to the world.”
Woolsey acknowledged the cost — in lives — of defending freedom
He read from Henry Van Dyke’s poem, Gone From my Sight:
“..A ship, at my side, spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other. Then, someone at my side says, ‘There, she is gone.’ Gone where? Gone from my sight. … There are other eyes watching her coming, and other voice ready to take up the glad shout, ‘Here she comes!’ And that is dying.”