Tuesday, September 4, 2012

200 Year Anniversary Commemoration of the Battle of Fort Dearborn

On Saturday September 8, 2012 at 2:30pm, a special ceremony will take place on the 1800 block of South Prairie Avenue in Chicago.  The event will commemorate the 200 year anniversary of the Battle of Fort Dearborn, which took place on that very site.  The Battle, which is memorialized with a small park around the corner at Calumet Avenue and 18th Street, was the only battle ever fought on Chicago soil and was a pivotal event in shaping the future history of Chicago and the history of the Native peoples that had called the area home for hundreds of years.

The ceremony will begin with a ceremonial honor guard provided by the Illinois National Guard.  Immediately following, members of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indian Nation will provide a Native American prayer, followed by a ceremonial smudging and drumming.  Russell Lewis, Chief Historian at the Chicago History Museum, will provide an historical overview of the event. 

An interesting element of the ceremony will take place when Colonel Thomas J. Purple, Jr., Joint Staff Director of Logistics for the Illinois Army National Guard, will read a dedication to Ensign George Ronan, one of the officers stationed at Fort Dearborn who lost his life during the battle.  Ronan was the first graduate of West Point killed in action.  George Ronan Park at 3000 W. Argyle Street is named in his honor.

The commemoration will conclude with 2nd Ward Alderman Robert Fioretti reading a Resolution of Reconciliation and Remembrance which he introduced before the Chicago City Council.

The event is part of the annual Festival on Prairie Avenue, sponsored by the Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance and now in its sixth year.  The Festival runs from 12:00 to 6:00pm.  Suggested entry donation is $5.00 per person.  For more information on the Festival, visit www.pdnachicago.com. 

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