Author James L. Nelson, Monument Orator at Bunker Hill Day Commemorative Exercises

June 9, 2011
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The Bunker Hill Day Commemorative Exercises, sponsored by James W. Conway Bunker Hill Post 26, The American Legion, under the auspices of the city of Boston, will be held on Thursday morning, June 17.  These ceremonies will mark the 236th anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill.

The program, according to Committee Chairman Arthur L. Hurley will begin at 9 a.m. with an ecumenical service on top of Bunker Hill, at St. Francis de Sales Church, 313 Bunker Hill St.

Following the service, the veteran, military, militia and patriotic organizations will assemble outside the church and form a procession. In the line of march will be USS Constitution Color Guard; the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home Color Guard; the Boston Allarum Companie Fife & Drums, The Bunker Hill Pipe Band, K. of C. 62; The Italian-American Marching Band; The Charlestown Militia Company, 1775; The Sons of the American Revolution Color Guard; the Charlestown High School U.S. Air Force Jr. ROTC Color Guard; and a number of schoolchildren from the Harvard-Kent, Warren-Prescott and Charlestown High School.

The participants will march down Bunker Hill Street to Elm Street to High Street and up through the Massachusetts Gate to the Bunker Hill grounds for the patriotic exercises commencing at 10 a.m. People along the route are invited, both young and older, to join in the rear of the march and accompany them to the Bunker Hill Monument.

The Monument Orator on this, the 236th anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill, James L. Nelson author of “With Fire and Sword: The Battle Of Bunker Hill and the Beginning of the American Revolution.”

James L. Nelson is a former professional sailor and the author of more than fifteen works of historical fiction and nonfiction. His books have covered piracy in the Americans, the American Revolution and the naval action of the Civil War. He has appeared on on the History Channel, the Discovery Channel and Book TV, among others, giving him the legitimacy that only television can bestow.

In 2004 Nelson was the recipient of the American Library Association/William Young Boyd Award, one of the country’s top honors for military fiction, for his novel Glory in the Name. In 2009 he was awarded the Samuel Eliot Morison Award by the Naval Order of the United States for his nonfiction George Washington’s Secret Navy. Nelson lives on the coast of his native Maine with is wife and four children, where he writes and occasionally sails.

Nelson on ” With Fire and Sword: The Battle Of Bunker Hill and the Beginning of the American Revolution”: This book is something of a departure from my usual maritime theme, being about the early days of the American Revolution, culminating in the Battle of Bunker Hill. Having done two books about the beginning of the Revolution (Benedict Arnold’s Navy and George Washington’s Secret Navy) I found I was fascinated by the period.

Students from all Charlestown schools will take part in the commemoration.  Many will be dressed in costumes representing Charlestown people of that era and have prepared songs for the celebration and the Warren-Prescott School Chorale will perform.

At the conclusion of the formal ceremonies, a wreath will be placed at the base of the statue of Col. William Prescott on the Monument grounds by the Bunker Hill Monument Association.

Hurley and the committee extend a warm welcome to all residents and organizations from within and outside the community to join with them on the morning of the 17th of June – the 236th  anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill – at both the ecumenical services at St. Francis de Sales Church at 9 a.m. and the patriotic exercises at the Monument at 10 a.m.

With the cooperation and attendance of all, these commemorative exercises will truly be a fitting tribute to our fallen heroes of Bunker Hill.