Letter: Remembering Bennington

Wednesday, August 09, 2017
Remembering Bennington

​State Rep. Michael Moffett’s excellent feature (Sunday Monitor Forum, Aug. 6) on the significance of the Battle of Bennington ought to be read by all students in New Hampshire and Vermont civics classes.

Bennington Battle Day (Aug. 16) is Vermont’s only state holiday. My family lived 10 splendid years in Bennington and worked to gain wider recognition of that event so critical to our nation’s birth.

​In the 1950s, the Bennington Jaycees revitalized this holiday with a huge Aug. 16 parade, drum and bugle corps competition, and evening fireworks display that attracted thousands of spectators. The Jaycee’s received a national award for restoring the annual celebration; regretfully, the event grew over several years to the point our small organization could not provide enough people or money to maintain the celebration.

​A spectacular 306-foot-high stone obelisk tower – one of Vermont’s prime tourist attractions – stands in Old Bennington Village at the place colonialists had stored munitions and supplies that drew Gen. Burgoyne’s forces to the eastern New York State border where the battle was fought. There a much larger, better-equipped and better-trained British force was soundly defeated by Gen. John Stark’s New Hampshire militia, Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Boys and some western Massachusetts volunteers.

​That victory marked a turning point in our Revolutionary War. Stay the course and help keep our nation’s early history alive.