On Tuesday, June 16th The Society of Sons of the Revolution in the State of Maryland (SR), The Maryland Society of the Cincinnati and The City of Annapolis will Sponsor a parade through downtown Annapolis and a wreath laying ceremony. The event honors General Lafayette and France’s key role in the success of the American Revolution in establishing a free and independent nation. The French Monument, installed by the Sons of the Revolution in 1911 at St. John’s College will be the site for the wreath laying and was erected in honor of the French Soldiers and Sailors who gave their lives in the American Revolution including the soldiers who perished in Annapolis while en route to the Battle of Yorktown.
The newly re-constructed 37 million dollar Ship Hermione will be the backdrop where the procession will begin its march from the City Dock lead by the 30 man 3rd Army Infantry “Old Guard” Fife and Drum Corp. In 1780, the French war ship, Hermione swiftly brought the Marquis de Lafayette back to America with good news of France’s aid in the cause for independence.
Those participating will include Governor Larry Hogan, Diplomatic Representatives from the French Embassy, the Mayor of Annapolis, the Mayors of Rochefort and La Rochelle, France, Superintendent of the US Naval Academy, Revolutionary War Re-enactors, The Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), The National Society of Colonial Dames, and The Society of Colonial Wars as well as the Sponsors.
The opening Ceremonies by the Governor and other dignitaries will occur at the Annapolis dock followed by a parade up Main Street. The parade will end with a wreath laying ceremony which is an annual tradition of the SR and includes presentation of colors, anthems and speeches and musket fire.
The Sons of the Revolution’s French Monument is a memorial to America’s first ally. Located on the campus of St. John’s College, the site where 4,000 French troops under the command of the Comte de Rochambeau camped while en route to Yorktown. Several soldiers who died due to sickness and exhaustion are buried close to where the monument stands. “The mission of the Sons of the Revolution and the Society of the Cincinnati is to perpetuate the memory of those who fought for independence in establishing this nation” said Russell Rich, President of the Maryland SR and member of the Cincinnati. Peter Schwab past president of SR also a member of the Cincinnati added, “We see the Hermione’s voyage and tour of the America’s colonial seaports as an opportunity to celebrate the important role that Lafayette played in securing France’s support both in military and financial aid for the American Revolution”.
Russell Rich, Peter Schwab, and General Hall Worthington (past national SR President) have spearheaded the planning and implementation of this event with the dedicated help of the Officers and Members of the Maryland Sons of the Revolution and the Maryland Society of the Cincinnati.
This event is being funded through the generosity of the Maryland Sons of the Revolution and the Maryland Society of the Cincinnati. Implementation assistance and additional sponsorship is being provided by the City of Annapolis which has made the parade and wreath laying an official City event in the honor of the arrival of the L’Hermione Frigate to Annapolis.
The celebration begins with a welcoming ceremony at 10:00 A.M. alongside the Hermione at City Dock. At 11:00 A.M., the parade will leave from City Dock and pass through downtown historic Annapolis and finish on the campus of St. John’s College with a wreath laying ceremony at 12 noon. The public is invited.
Construction on the Hermione began in France in 1997, based on exact line drawings from its sister ship La Concorde. The Hermione has three masts, is 185 feet tall, 216 feet long and displaces 1,166 tons of water. There are 1,000 pulleys, 26 cannons and 242 crew members on the frigate, which is made of oak, conifer, iron and lead. Along with the special trip to Annapolis, the newly built ship will visit a number of East Coast ports including Annapolis, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston.