In Honor of the Fallen – Memorial Day 2015

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IMG_0914The U.S. Army and the VCASNY execute a 21 gun salute on Memorial Day in honor of our fallen.

This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

West Point Day Fort Hamilton

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West Point Day Parade
West Point Day Parade

USAG Fort Hamilton hosted West Point Day, Fort Hamilton, New York at, 18 April 2015.  The event promoted the U.S.Military Academy to the people of New York City as part of the Superintendent’s overall New York City Engagement Strategy.The event was designed to provide information on academic and cadet life at West Point, strengthen the relationships between USMA and NYC, and offer an opportunity to showcase Cadets and Cadet activities through displays, demonstrations and interaction.

In support of Fort Hamilton, the 9th (NY) provided its traditional firing of 75mm Howitzers to start the parade.

Recruiting for the Union Army in New York City

Artillery Ceremony History New York VCA
VCA Flag Raising
VCA Flag Raising

On 11 April, the 9th Field Artillery (NY) was invited by the National Park Service to participate in a commemoration of recruiting activities in New York City during the Civil War. In addition to the firing of its howitzers, a flag raising ceremony was held at Battery Park.

During the Civil War, extensive efforts to recruit soldiers for the Union army took place in New York City. In Battery Park, just outside Castle Garden, a recruiting office was established specifically to recruit newly-arriving immigrants. They were offered a monthly wage, food and clothing, and a pleasant outdoor life with plenty of exercise.

After the draft law went into effect in July, 1863 recruiters began to offer substantial bonuses for enlistment in particular regiments of the recruit’s choice in order to escape conscription. Choices offered included ethnic infantry regiments including Irish, German, Italian and African American units. Also available were artillery and cavalry specialties as well as unique units such as the Zouaves. By such means, New York supplied more troops for the Union army during the war than any other state.

New York 9th Field Artillery Regiment celebrates its 224th Mess Dinner

Artillery Ceremony History New York VCA

15619684284_eca6fe1b02_o - Copy

On 8 January 2015, the VCA celebrated its 224th Annual Mess Dinner and commemorated the 200th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans. The mess dinner took place in the Community Club at Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn. The Battle of New Orleans was the final major battle of the War of 1812. Members of the VCA attended in full VCA mess dress uniform for one of the final gatherings commemorating the Bi-Centennial of the War of 1812. The guest speaker this year was COL Joseph D. Davidson, Garrison Commander USAG Fort Hamilton.

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.