WYOMING, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE 28/WYOU 22 EYEWITNESS NEWS) — A patriotic commemoration of one of the shortest, yet bloodiest, battles in northeastern Pennsylvania history returned after a one-year hiatus because of the pandemic.
The ceremony was held on the very soil where hundreds of Americans lost their lives.
Some patriotic re-enactors fired their weapons on the grounds of the Wyoming Monument, which commemorates the Battle of Wyoming, fought 243 years ago. Hundreds came out for the service traditionally held July 3rd, the same day in 1778 when more than 300 patriots died fighting for independence.
“I love the ceremony. It’s a beautiful little slice of Americana. It’s nice to recognize and remember this actually very significant battle during the American Revolution,” 24th Connecticut militia regiment reenactor Eugene Kearney said.
This service is somehow even more meaningful after a one-year absence due to the pandemic.
“We’re commemorating the freedoms that those who died for us, earned for us. And so today’s celebration is just a commemoration of those lives lost, of those souls lost, but all for the cause of freedom,” event chair/Luzerne County Court Judge Jennifer Rogers said.
Civic groups and military veteran organizations laid 55 floral tributes at the monument while speeches and music performed by the Wyoming Valley Band added a patriotic touch. The battle and those who laid down their lives inspire to this day.
“I wrote my Master’s thesis on the Battle of Wyoming and its memory, so I was asked to speak and I’m very glad to be here today to talk to everyone about it here,” guest speaker Will Tharp said.
The rich history of the Wyoming Valley, and the price of freedom. A heavy price paid here two years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
“I think it’s a very important thing to remember our past and how much our area has done for the history of America,” William V. Lewis of Wilkes-Barre said.
Saturday’s service marked the 143rd commemorative event of the Battle of Wyoming. The service has only been canceled twice: in 1972 following Hurricane Agnes flooding and again last year because of the coronavirus crisis.