The town of Hull welcomed the General Consul of France in Boston, Valery Freland, as he rededicated the French Marines Memorial Monument atop Telegraph Hill at Fort Revere (formerly Fort Independence). The event marked the 40th anniversary of the original dedication, which took place during the town's Bicentennial celebrations in 1976.
The foggy day began with Hull’s Miss Peddock Island Charter Boat arriving with the VIP passengers from South Boston, escorted through the gut to the pier at Jo’s Nautical Bar by the Boston Fire Department Firefighting vessel shooting it’s water cannons. Right on cue, the fog dissipated and the skies cleared enough for the ceremony to take place with a clear view behind the French marines Memorial Monument overlooking Boston Light and the Nantasket Roads waterway into Boston Harbor.
Special Guest speakers included: U.S. Congressman Stephen Lynch, 8th Distict including Hull; State Senator Patrick O’Connor, Plymouth-Norfolk District including Hull; Hull Veteran Charles E. Gould II; and Christopher Mitchell, Hull Selectman. Vocalists Alexandra Medzhidoz, who sang the National Anthem of France "La Marseillaise", and Therisa Cook, who sang the United States National Anthem "The Star Spangled Banner", both performed incredibly moving renditions. The Master of Ceremonies was Domenico Sestito, Hull Selectman. Town Counsel Jim Lampke, as Acting Town Manager, coordinated the event.
A number of gifts and proclamations were exchanged between Consul General Valery Freland and the Town of Hull, the Fort Revere Park and Preservation Society, the Hull Historic Commission, State Representative Garrett Bradley, and Congressman Lynch, prompting Consul Freland to quip: "This Bastille Day in Hull is more like Christmas Day, with all the gifts".
Congressman Stephen Lynch, gave a particularly informative speech with many historical facts including: Major General Gilbert du Motier Marquis de Lafayette stayed in Historic Hull Village at the Spring Street homestead (built circa 1725) of Hull’s own Major General Richard Neal, Retired U.S. Marine Corps., during the Marquis' Revolutionary War visit to the French Fort Independence.
The French Marines Monument is one of three memorials donated by the Republic of France. It commemorates the 200 French Marines buried at the Fort while fighting for the American Revolution to free the colonies from the rule of King George III of England. Historians unanimously agree that the colonies could not have won their independence without French military and economic aid. The Marquis de Lafayette, Major General in the Continental Army, who visited the French Fort Independence atop Telegraph Hill during the Revolution, became the "Hero of two worlds". Subsequently, The French Revolution was fought for the cause of "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite" (Liberty, Equality, Brotherhood).
The event was sponsored by the Town of Hull Fort Revere Committee, The Hull Historic Commission, and the Fort Revere Park Preservation Society. The theme of the event was the special relationship and alliance between the United States and the Republic of France: As President Obama said: “France is our oldest Ally.”
© 2016 Fort Revere-Fort Independence Park Preservation Society