March 17, 2011

The Nation’s Third Oldest College Newspaper

Volume 81, Issue 8

Two Centuries of peace to be celebrated

by John M. Curtin

Two countries will celebrate. Photo by John M. Curtin.

Two countries will celebrate. Photo by John M. Curtin.

The bicentennial of the War of 1812 was discussed at the board meeting of the Village of Lewiston on Feb. 22. Many events and ceremonies have been planned for this commemoration.

Known as The Second American Revolution, the War of 1812 was the final conflict between Britain and the U.S. for American independence. It lasted until 1814. The first major battle, according to Lee Simonson, volunteer director of the Lewiston 1812 bicentennial committee, was fought in Lewiston “ an event known today as the Battle of Queenston Heights.

For this reason, the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge is to be designated an International Corridor of Peace and Cooperation “ a commemoration that's being led by the 1812/2012 Niagara Bicentennial Legacy Leadership Council. This council was created back in 2006.

In the background brief of the council, it is explained that Niagara has an opportunity to provide leadership in the celebration of the bicentennial, as well as create the foundation for legacies in Niagara that will last well beyond the three-year period. (http://www.visit1812.com)

There is an area between Canada and the U.S. that can be marketed, expressed Mayor Terry Collesano at the board meeting. In a joint contract, we've come up with a resolution that puts the War of 1812 in perspective, and puts it as a marketing tool for the next couple years. And that's what we're voting on here “ to send this on to the U.S. government to make this known.

The purpose of the motion passed at the village's board meeting was to allow Mayor Collesano to sign a resolution between Canada and the U.S. that will now be passed along to the federal government in hopes of receiving federal support. Local mayors and county executives have signed this resolution, as well as officials from Canada.

The Canadian government is putting a lot of emphasis on the War of 1812 “ its celebration of 200 years, explained Collesano. They've committed a couple million dollars towards the ceremonies on their side.
Simonson explains that the Town of Lewiston is allocating $325 thousand, in addition to the Niagara County's $10,000, for the American celebrations “ most of which will occur at Fort Niagara.  Re-enactments and historical guides will begin as early as this summer at Fort Niagara.

The primary events that are scheduled so far will begin Oct. 12 through 14 with the re-enactment of the battle of Queenston-Heights. The next will be on Dec. 19, 2013, with the erection of the Tuscarora monument. More events will continue until around Christmastime of 2014, reveals Simonson.

Other re-enactments will begin as early as this summer at Fort Niagara.  

More information about these and other events can be found at: http://www.discover1812.com and http://www.historiclewiston.org.

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