NICK FEARNS / Special to Bullet News
NIAGARA FALLS – This summer marks the 200th anniversary of the bloodiest battle ever to be fought on Canadian soil.
But the Lundy’s Lane Historical Society and its partners aren’t just commemorating the battle; they are also celebrating the 200 years of peace that followed the War of 1812.
“The result of the bloodiest battle fought on Canadian soil is 200 years of peace, an demilitarized border and a great relation with our neighbors to the south, so it was a great outcome,” said Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati.
“Especially now, whenever I bring greetings to any conferences in town I always point out the historic importance of Niagara Falls, of the battle, and of their visit at this time.”
“It gives me great pleasure to be here at this time in history, 200 years later, especially with the sponsorship of Bob Gale, one of our local and respected business people, who puts his money where his mouth is on a regular basis and helped to make this facility the great facility that it is,” said Diodati.
“When most people think of the War of 1812, they think of re-enactments, but we want to do something a little different,” said Clark Bernat, manager at Niagara Falls Museums.
“We’ve been working with the historical society for quite some time to make sure this a night to remember.”
The Lundy’s Lane Historical Society is the second-oldest organization of its kind in Canada.
“The society has been involved with the commemorative service for the Battle of Lundy’s Lane for a long time,” said Sherman Zavitz, the official historian of the city of Niagara Falls.
“The society was founded in 1887, believe it or not.”
Zavitz explained how the service this year would be different from other years.
One change will be the starting time.
“This year the service will be a bit different in some ways. It won’t be in the early afternoon as is usually the case. It will be in the evening, around the time the battle actually started,” said Zavitz.
The service will be “enhanced” with the inclusion of a number of VIPs and other special guests, including a number of former soldiers from both Canada and the United States.
Registration for the event is $12 for adults and $6 for children and includes a free T-shirt.
The first 500 people to register will also receive a special commemorative coin.
“The 200th anniversary, July 25, 2014 is a really significant event in the city of Niagara Falls,” said Don Jackson, who was dressed as General Gordon Drummond.
“The [Bicentennial Taskforce committee] taskforce wanted to ensure that, in addition to the T-shirts, people would get, as a result of pre-registration, something else tangible to take away with them, to have in their families for years to come.”
Jackson added that the event would not be possible without the generosity of Gale.
“This could never have happened without the support, both moral and financial, of Bob Gale,” said Jackson.
You can register to attend the event or participate at www.battleoflundyslane.ca.