PEPPERELL -- This year marks the 239th anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill and planning for the annual celebration, and commemorative exercises is underway in Charlestown.
The 2014 exercises will take place on June 17 and this year's celebration will pay tribute to Col. William Prescott of Pepperell, famous for leading colonial troops in the fight for American independence at Breeds Hill, during the historic Battle of Bunker Hill.
The Pepperell Historical Commission is working with the Bunker Hill Commemorative Committee in Charlestown to include in this year's program guest speakers from Pepperell and special observances to recognize the eight fallen men from Pepperell who gave their lives in the battle.
Program information is still forthcoming from Charlestown and the events are expected to start at approximately 10 a.m. beginning with music, prayer and readings at Saint Francis de Sales Parish, located at the top of Bunker Hill Street, across from the Bunker Hill Monument.
The program continues with a procession to Breed's Hill lead by the color guards of the U.S.S. Constitution and the Charlestown Militia Company 1775, to the site of the Bunker Hill Monument and the impressive statue of Col. Prescott.
The commemorative exercises will include the presentation of colors and feature speeches from local dignitaries and also the invited guests from Pepperell and members of the Historical Commission, Tony Saboliauskas and Franek Kiluk.
Residents of Pepperell and our neighbors are welcome to join us on June 17 to share in the honor and pride for Col. Prescott and all the patriots who fought and died in the battle for freedom.
Other historic attractions near the monument include the Battle of Bunker Hill Museum located across the street from the monument. Visit the U.S.S. Constitution, the world's oldest commissioned naval warship afloat and enjoy an escorted tour through "Old Ironsides." Close to the ship is the U.S.S. Constitution Museum, with interactive galleries that take the public on a 200-year voyage.
The battle is re-enacted in Charlestown and the annual parade, a tradition since 1786, starts at 12:30 p.m. near the Charlestown Navy Yard on Sunday, June 15.
For information contact the Pepperell Historical Commission at historical@ town.pepperell.ma.us.