The Perry Group and Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial superintendent, Blanca Stransky, delivered a commemorative flag this week to the U.S. Secretary of Navy in recognition of the 200 year anniversary of the War of 1812.
The flag is stitched with the words "Don't give up the ship," the dying command of James Lawrence in 1813 aboard the USS Chesapeake.
“The flag draped over the shoulder of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry – as pictured in the Halls of Congress, U.S. Naval Academy Museum, and Ohio State House – include these instructional yet inspirational words that helped chart the course of victory for America against the British in the War of 1812,” says David Zavagno, chairman of The Perry Group’s Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial Committee, which has been planning its tribute for over three years.
The Battle of Lake Erie, which took place near South Bass Island, is remembered for being a key turning point in the War of 1812. Oliver Hazard Perry led the U.S. Naval fleet to its first-ever victory over the Britsh navy.
The Navy has planned a 15-city tour to commemorate the bicentennial of the war. The closest visit will be in Cleveland on Aug. 27-Sept. 4 and will feature Navy ships and special events.
The national monument's observation deck, which has been closed for renovations on South Bass Island for several years, will reopen this summer for the bicentennial.
“The bicentennial of the Battle of Lake Erie activities represent far more than a celebration of quaint relics from a bygone era,” said Zavagno in a statement. “They address the noble aspirations of the people. They speak not only of what has passed, but also to what endures: ingenuity, bravery and the sensational appetite for freedom.”
According to the Perry Group, tall ships representing the U.S. and Great Britain will gather in the Put-in-Bay area, and there also will be a re-enactment of the Battle of Lake Erie to commemorate the occasion, something Zavagno says is designed to really bring home what “this pivotal conflict” represents to all Americans.
Along with the massive reenactment, Zavagno said The Perry Group is working on these proposed events:
June 18: Declaration of War followed by tolling bells and the raising of 15-star flags.
Aug. 27 - Sept, 4: Navy War of 1812 week in Cleveland, VIP On Board arrival
Aug. 30: The Perry Group-sponsored “Bicentennial Welcome Ceremony” on board the USS De Wert.
Sept. 8: The 199th Anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie celebrated in conjunction with the Coast Guard and Navy.
Aug. 29 - 30: “Parade of Sail” around the Western Basin with 15 to 18 Tall Ships; the Tall Ships will then be located in the proposed following ports for the Bicentennial Celebration: Amherstburg, Kingsville, Leamington, Monroe, Toledo, Port Clinton, Catawba Island Club, Pelee Island, Put-in-Bay, Kelleys Island, Huron/Sandusky.
Aug. 31: Musical concert(s).
Sept. 1: Parade of boaters in conjunction with the Navy and Coast Guard around Put-in-Bay; The Ohio State Marching Band.
Sept. 2: Battle of Lake Erie re-enactment.
Sept. 7 - 10: U.S. Navy returns to the Great Lakes and Put-in-Bay (Proposed).
Sept. 10: USS Niagara returns; bicentennial ceremonies including statewide bell ringing, sunset salute and wreath laying.
Check out the following website for schedules and descriptions of events and information about ticket prices for the activities. http://www.battleoflakeerie-bicentennial.com