A salute from service members as the wreaths were tossed into the lake
The Battle of Lake Erie is called a forgotten victory by some, but after the happenings in our area over the last two weeks it’s safe to say that here this history is not forgotten. On Tuesday, Sept. 10, The Jet Express, Goodtime, Denis Sullivan, Biscayne Bay and the Niagara headed towards the battle site in Lake Erie where many men gave their lives for their countries. On the Biscayne Bay Coast Guard cutter, four wreaths were laid to represent the four vessels lost in the war, USS Somer, USS Ariel, HMS Lady Prevost and HMS Hunter.
Steve Roberts of the National Park Service recounted the events of the battle as the Biscayne Bay made its way to the battle site. Other speakers included Navy, Coast Guard and Newfoundland Royal Regiment members. There was also a representative of the native people who lost their lives in the battle. On the Biscayne Bay this representative was Jamie Oxendine. When he spoke he blessed the boat, the passengers and the people who lost their lives in the battle.
Jamie Oxendine giving a blessing
At the end of the ceremony the Niagara fired four shots, representing the final shots fired onto the British fleet. Taps played and passengers bowed their head to pay their respects. After the shots were fired the Biscayne Bay circled around to see the commemorative buoy that has been placed at the coordinates in the lake where the Battle of Lake Erie took place, 41-44-50.00 N, 083-02-00.00 W.
Buoy that marks where the Battle of Lake Erie took place
The Perry Group, a group who helped plan the bicentennial celebrations, also known as the Friends of Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial,works along with the National Park Service to celebrate the long lasting peace amongst the three nations that were involved in the Battle of Lake Erie, Great Britain, Canada and the United States. Even though the bicentennial events are over for the year, the Perry Group is still planning. Kay Drake of the Perry Group said the group is in talks for raising money to build a storage facility for Perry’s longboat and cannon.
For more information on the bicentennial, visit www.battleoflakeerie-bicentennial.com. For more information on or to join the Perry Group, visit www.theperrygroup.org.