The Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial is upon us.

Most islanders are aware of the history of the Battle of Lake Erie and the famous Commodore who commanded his soldier/sailors who, for the first time in history, defeated a British fleet. Not surprisingly, many people have no idea what the Battle of Lake Erie fought out in the lake off Put-in-Bay was about, what importance it had in developing our nation, or even that a battle was fought. We all learn about the War of 1812 in school, but few remember hearing anything about the Battle of Lake Erie fought in 1813. Those visiting the Perry’s Monument and the Visitors Center go away with a better idea about the battle, but do any of us really think how the Battle of Lake Erie has affected us all and what a crucial role it played in American history?Battle of Lake Erie Picture Postcard

Had Commodore Perry lost the battle he and his men fought on September 10th, 1813, chances are the The Treaty of Ghent, which brought an end to the War of 1812, would have had radically different borders resulting in a totally different development of a frontier which are now the states of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin. These states would more than likely have been part of Canada. It would have been Canadian pioneers flocking to settle in states which eventually became manufacturing powerhouses and made America the great world power it is today. Without these states in the Union, the nation would have been further weakened when the Civil War divided the nation. The battle could have changed Manifest Destiny’s westward expansion of the nation to the Pacific and changed the way we got involved in and fought two World Wars because we would have been a much smaller, weaker nation. America was the champion in the Cold War battles against the Communist domination of the world and today is the policeman of almost all nations with the largest military presence of any country ever.

Most people in the world would love to live in America because of our nation’s strength and living standard, but would that all have been different had the Battle of Lake Erie been lost?

We’ll never know for sure, but if you’re wondering about why we on the island are hyped up about celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie, now you have a little food for thought to ponder and get excited about. Now join in, and help us celebrate! We do recommend that you make your Put-in-Bay Hotels Reservations as soon as possible as Put-in-Bay Home Rentals and Hotels will be sold out early!

The 4th will be full of activity at Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial this year as annual patriotic activities are joined with Centennial celebration. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the building of the International Peace Memorial, a national monument, and local treasure. In 1913, 5000 Masons, from nine states and Canada, formed a procession and marched to the site of Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial to witness the laying of the cornerstone. This procession and laying of the stone will be re-enacted at the monument this 4th of July in honor of the structure’s Centennial anniversary. The procession will be preceded with a grand parade beginning at 2 p.m. and progressing its way through downtown Put-in-Bay to the memorial.

The parade will include a number of participants from near and far and will be led through down by Put-in- Bay’s own traditional antique car parade and local chapter American Legion representatives. The parade will conclude at the Memorial itself shortly before the beginning of the 3 p.m. cornerstone ceremony. Included in the parade and ceremony will be the 122nd Army Concert Band, who will also provide a free public concert at the Perry’s Victory Visitor Center at 7:30 p.m. On the 4th, Perry’s Victory will also be hosting the biennial naturalization ceremony for ten area residents who will be taking the oath of new citizenship. The patriotic mood of this year’s ceremony will be even greater than usual as the naturalization will be accompanied by a Delayed Enlistment Program in which 200 men and woman from three branches of the military will be taking their oath of service.

The naturalization ceremony will begin at 11 am on the memorial lower plaza and will be followed immediately by the delayed enlistment. The patriotic festivities on the day will conclude with a public fireworks display over the bay at dusk weather permitting. The fireworks are provided by the Put-in-Bay Business Owners and Friends of the Bay. Perry’s Victory welcomes you to join them on their grounds to enjoy the display. Please be aware parking is limited and alcoholic beverages are not permitted on park grounds. For more information on any of these events, please call Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial at (419)285-2184