It was about 10 years ago when State Rep. Dan Ryan, who was still tending bar at the Warren Tavern, struck up a conversation with Tom Coots – of the Charlestown Militia – on the birthday of General Joseph Warren.
Coots and the Militia had annually visited the marker to Warren up at the Monument, payed homage, and then went to the Tavern for a drink or two. In that conversation a few years back, Ryan and Coots concocted to make it an official toast to Warren’s birthday.
“That was around 2010 when they were taking away Bunker Hill Day as a state holiday and so everyone was into the history at the time,” said Ryan. “We were talking about General Warren and his birthday and soon enough we were talking about doing an event. We made it a fun event during Charlestown Pride Week and I sponsored it after I was elected in 2015. It actually started a few years before that. We think we did it every year, but we’ve kept it going at least 10 years.”
This year, June 11, at 6 p.m. the Charlestown Militia will appear at the Warren Tavern, dressed to fight, for the annual toast to Dr. Gen. Joseph Warren. There is plenty of merriment and a quick history lesson from Coots as well.
“It’s really something for the militia, a than you to them for all that they do throughout the year for the community,” said Ryan. “The toast itself is a very simple toast to Joseph Warren and the militia is always on hand and it’s been that way for several years. One of the first years we did it, there was a family of tourists from Wisconsin there and they thought it was the best thing ever. It’s a fun night and it’s become my favorite night of Charlestown Pride Week.”
Ryan said they have kept it simple over the years, but he said there has been talk of expanding it in a sense. Apparently, there are 12 counties throughout the United States – in places like Ohio and Kentucky – that are named in honor of General Warren. There has been talk to reach out to their Historical Societies and try to loop them in somehow to the toast.
For now, this Friday in Charlestown, at the Warren Tavern, a glass will be raised, and a toast made to the man that fought for the cause and gave his life on Bunker Hill – Dr. Joseph Warren.