Nathan Hale Day

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Nathan Hale
Nathan Hale Statue

On 22 September, 1776 British troops under the command of General William Howe (British Commander in North America) hung Nathan Hale a day after he was caught spying for the Continental Army. Every year a small ceremony is held to remember the man who reportedly said, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country”. The ceremony takes place at City Hall Park, the location where he lost his life 235 years ago. Attending the ceremony were city officials, including Mayor Bloomberg.

Mayor and Color Guard
Mayor Bloomberg and VCA Color Guard - Nathan Hale Day 2011

Preparing the Firing Battery

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Getting ready for the big July 4th event takes coordination, patience and lots of caution.  Our thanks once again to the 1st Battalion, 258th Field Artillery for always been willing to provide a hand, and  helping us with the movements of the howitzers. Here is a short video from early morning until the firing.  Check out the Cubs Scouts at the end of the line 🙂

The Veteran Corps of Artillery Plaque at 115 Broadway, New York, NY

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The late 18th century City Arms Tavern stood on this site. On November 25th, 1790, known as “Evacuation Day” because it marked the anniversary of the departure of the last British troops from New York in 1783, a group of patriotic citizens met at the Tavern to discuss the defense of their state and nation from possible foreign aggression. As veterans of the corps of artillery of the Continental Army, they formed the VETERAN CORPS OF ARTILLERY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK. Since that date this historic military command has served the state and nation continuously, in both peace and war.

More VCA July 4th celebration on youtube

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[youtube=]Every year, The Veteran Corp of Artillery of the State of New York, holds its’ Annual Salute to the Nation in Battery Park, NYC. The event begins with a march from Castle Clinton and a flag raising ceremony. The highlight of the event for spectators and tourists is the 50 gun salute, with each firing volley executing after each state is named. Be with us next year for the 4th. The VCA is a federally and state recognized military organization founded in 1790.

VCA in the news – State Veteran Corps Of Artillery Holds July 4th Demonstration –

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The VCA held it’s “Annual Salute to the Nation” this July 4th, and Battery Park was filled with spectators from all over the world. They were not disappointed as the crowds watched a Change of Command ceremony, the Raising of the Colors, and of course the 50 gun salute with our 75mm Howitzers. A special thanks go to the Soldiers of the 258th Field Artillery based out of the Jamaica Armory in Queens, NY.

The 258th provided transportation and additional troops for the movement of the howitzers.

Here is short piece and video from New York’s own NY1 news channel.

State Veteran Corps Of Artillery Holds July 4th Demonstration –

4th Of July, 2011 – VCA Annual Artillery Salute to the Nation

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on 4 July, 2011 at 1100 Hours (11AM ET), a VCA Firing Battery will be at Battery Park in Manhattan to begin its’ annual firing of its’ 75mm Pack Howitzers. The event commemorates each of the 50 states entry into the Union. and begins at 1020 Hours with a Raising of the Colors at Castle Clinton, and a Change of Command Ceremony. Members of the public are invited. The included video from youtube that was posted several years ago by someone at the event.

VCA Mess Dinner 1898 at Delmonico’s

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For you history buff’s…The VCA has been holding its’ Annual Mess Dinner for 221 years now. Here is a photo of the actual menu used 113 years ago. The event took place at Delmonico’s Restaurant, on Monday, January 17th, 1898. The “Joint” is “Saddle of Canada Mutton”. Does anyone know what a “Joint” is? Not even going to ask about the Mutton.

VCA presents Morten Marott CPT of the Royal Danish Army Reserves – Queen’s Artillery Regiment with Honorary Membership

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CPT Morten Marrot and COL. Charles Lucas
CPT Morten Marrot and COL Charles Lucas VCA

On Friday, January 8, 2011 COL Charles C. Lucas, Commandant of the Veteran Corps of Artillery-State of New York presented CPT  Morten Marott of the Royal Danish Army Reserves Queen’s Artillery Regiment with an Honorary Membership in the Veteran Corps of Artillery-State of New York.  The presentation was made at the 221st Annual VCA Mess Dinner held at Noble House in Lower Manhattan. Noble House is a historical building in what is NYC’s historical district and home to other historical buildings such as Fraunces Tavern.  In addition to the presentation of the honorary membership to CPT Marott the VCA was honored to have as guest speakers for the evening, David Rohde and his wife Kristen Mulhivill.

CPT Morten Marott of the Royal Danish Army Reserves Queen’s Artillery Regiment is a highly decorated Danish Military officer with extensive experience both domestically and internationally.  Internationally, he served in Croatia in 1995 with the United Nations Peace Keeping Forces (UNPROFOR) as Captain, Liaison Officer and Operations Officer of the Danish UN Battalion.  In August, 1995, while in the war zone in Croatia, CPT Marott successfully led a group of eleven other stranded UN peacekeepers through the ordeals of the hotspot of the conflict during the week-long Croatian attack on and bombardment of the area.  During his service with  the United Nations Peace Keeping Forces (UNPROFOR) CPT Marott conducted several negotiations with armed Croatian and Serbian commanders and war lords.

Domestically, in Denmark, CPT Marott was Commander of an Air Defense Missile Battery mobilization unit in the Royal Danish Army Reserves Queen’s Artillery Regiment.  As Commander, CPT Marott was responsible for seventy two troops including six other officers and a large inventory of weapons, vehicles and high tech equipment.

David Rohde's
Mr. David Rohde's receiving Honorary Membership Vice Commandant MAJ. Stephen Ryan
Kristen Mulvihill & David Rohde

The evening’s guest speaker, David Rohde, winner of two Pulitzer Prizes for his work on the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia and covering Afghanistan and Pakistan, is a War Correspondent and author.  He has covered the war in Afghanistan for the New York Times since 2001. In November 2008, en route to meet with a well-known al-Qaeda commander at an undisclosed location in Afghanistan, Rohde was kidnapped.  He was eventually taken over the border into a stronghold in the mountains of Pakistan.  While in captivity, as you might expect, Rhode had the opportunity to converse with his captors often.  Those talks helped him develop a strong understanding of his captors’ political positions and their thinking.  Held by the Taliban in hopes of reaping major ransom money, they nicknamed Rohde “Golden Rooster.”  It took him and his interpreter seven months to engineer their daring escape.  Rohde shared his experiences as a captive of the Taliban, how he maintained his edge during seven months in captivity and the details of his escape with the VCA Mess Dinner guests. Rhode’s book, A Rope and A Prayer, written with his wife, Kristen Mulvihill, delves into that harrowing experience in great detail.

The Veteran Corps of Artillery, State of New York, is the senior active military unit in the Empire State. It was originally raised in 1790 to defend the harbor of New York City. Although today, its duties are largely ceremonial, it continues to provide a firing battery for the annual salute to the nation held on the 4th of July at Battery Park in New York City. Additional information about the storied past and current activities of the VCA is available at: and

By: LTC. Allen I. Milman