KENTUCKY MEMORIAL PLACE REDEDICATED OCTOBER 17, 2004

 

 Click on caption for a larger image

Arrival of General Arflack and John Trowbridge from Frankfort Kentucky

  Brigadier General Norman E. Arflack of the Kentucky National Guard and John Trowbridge, director of the Kentucky Military History Museum, arrive from Frankfort, Kentucky.  They arrived at Custer Airport in cold rain at 4 PM on Friday October 16, 2004.  Here they are greeted by Richard Micka.

Lets see what happened...

Remember the Raisin - 10/17/2004

Monroe salutes Kentucky soldiers who gave lives in War of 1812.

ctslat@monroenews.com

By CHARLES SLAT

Buried somewhere in a mound of state land within a cemetery in Frankfort, Ky., are the remains of as many as 15 Kentucky militiamen who fought bravely and gave their lives in a bloody battle with the British in Monroe nearly 200 years ago.

Their names are largely unknown. The remains are all in one container. The precise location is guesswork.

But Monroe again remembered the sacrifices of those and nearly 400 other Kentuckians who perished during the War of 1812's Battle of the River Raisin by marking the centennial anniversary Saturday of a monument erected in their honor at Memorial Place park off S. Monroe St. at W. Seventh St.

The massive gray granite monument matched the color of the sky on a blustery day when the thermometer flirted with 50 and many attending huddled under three-sided canopy to snap photos and watch the proceedings. In one corner, Sandra Walters of the U.S. Postal Service, hand-canceled envelopes with a special "first cover" commemorating the event.

Special guests included Brig. Gen. Norman E. Arflack of the Kentucky National Guard; John Trowbridge, director of the Kentucky Military History Museum, and Brig. Gen. Jerry Cannon, head of the Michigan National Guard.

Brig. Gen. Cannon told the crowd the state was grateful to those Kentucky militiamen "who came to our rescue. In the finest military tradition, they were honor-bound to defend our freedom," he said.He assured the Kentuckians present "that Michigan will always, always remember the Raisin."

Brig. Gen. Arflack said he was struck by the gracious hospitality of area residents in the last couple of days, and he read a letter of thanks from Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher for remembering over 100 years the sacrifices Kentuckians made during the 1813 battle.

"We owe you a debt that can never be repaid for erecting this beautiful monument in your city," he wrote. Brig. Gen. Arflack also presented a Kentucky flag to Monroe Mayor John R. Iacoangeli to be flown at the park.

Mr. Trowbridge told The Evening News that work continues on documenting the River Raisin dead at the Frankfort cemetery. "We've found what we believe is the graveshaft," he said. He said the next steps will be to use the University of Kentucky archeology department to take core samples to confirm the location of the burial area.

Remains of about 15 Kentucky casualties that could be identified from among the estimated 400 who died were buried in Detroit first, then shifted to Covington, Ky., and then Frankfort in the 1850s. But the location of the common grave became obscured over time.

Mr. Trowbridge said it's hoped that any bones recovered could be examined to unearth facts about their diet, diseases and the manner in which the soldiers died. Ultimately, it's hoped that DNA testing will enable some of the remains to be linked with names.

"I've already had two families contact me who are descendants of two guys who were killed up here," Mr. Trowbridge said.

During the ceremony, Linda Rutledge, a local artist, presented a framed pen- and-ink drawing of the monument to Gen. Arflack that she had created over the last few weeks to take back to his fellow Kentucky citizens.

"I hope they get as much pleasure out of it as when I sat in this park and sketched it block by block and letter by letter," she said.

V. Lehr Roe, chairman of the Monroe County Board of Commissioners, compared the sacrifice of the Kentuckians, fighting far from home, to the war on terror being fought today.

"They fought to free local residents of the terrorism of the British occupation," he said of the Kentuckians.

Underscoring the rich artifacts that remain from the battle, Jeanne Micka, a member of the Monroe County Historical Commission, read an account of Madame LaCroix, an early settler, whose home was invaded by Indians.

She tried to persuade them that terrorizing women and children was not an act of courage or bravery. In response, one of the Indian braves literally buried the hatchet - plunging a tomahawk into a portrait of Madame LaCroix that hung on the wall. That portrait's among the artifacts at the River Raisin Battlefield Visitors Center.

Ken Howard, a member of the Second Michigan Territorial Militia re-enactment group, highlighted the importance of remembering the battle and subsequent massacre of wounded survivors.

"Any country that forgets its history is going down the road of losing its identity and losing its values," he said. He noted that Kentucky suffered the highest casualty rates of any state or territory during the War of 1812.

State Rep. Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, re-minded the audience that the Michigan House of Representatives passed a resolution earlier this year urging Congress to recognize the River Raisin Battlefield as a national historic monument. He said a decision on that might be made soon. Rep. Richardville also presented a Michigan state flag to Brig. Gen. Arflack.

As military groups snapped to attention, the American and Kentucky flags were hoisted on the park's flagpole, re-enactment groups fired a salute using black-powder rifles and the strains of "Taps" were carried away by the breeze.

By Charles Slat 2004 Monroe Evening News

Used by Permission


SATURDAY OCTOBER 17, 2004

Dick Micka Plans as Jean Micka assists Monroe DPS Director Scott Davidson Anchor Floral Tribute

 

Michigan National Guard Brig. Gen. Cannon Addressing Crowd

Brig. Gen. Cannon told the crowd the state was grateful to those Kentucky militiamen "who came to our rescue. In the finest military tradition, they were honor-bound to defend our freedom," he said.He assured the Kentuckians present "that Michigan will always, always remember the Raisin."

 

General Arflack Dick Micka and John Trowdridge (holding KY Flag)

 

V. Lehr Roe, chairman of the Monroe County Board of Commissioners

V. Lehr Roe, chairman of the Monroe County Board of Commissioners, compared the sacrifice of the Kentuckians, fighting far from home, to the war on terror being fought today.  "They fought to free local residents of the terrorism of the British occupation," he said of the Kentuckians.

Kentucky ANG Gen. Norman Arflack Presents Flag to Monroe Mayor John Iacoangeli

Brig. Gen. Arflack said he was struck by the gracious hospitality of area residents in the last couple of days, and he read a letter of thanks from Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher for remembering over 100 years the sacrifices Kentuckians made during the 1813 battle.

"We owe you a debt that can never be repaid for erecting this beautiful monument in your city," he wrote. Brig. Gen. Arflack also presented a Kentucky flag to Monroe Mayor John R. Iacoangeli to be flown at the park.

Mayor Iacoangeli Presents Memorial Site Improvement Plans

 

Ken Howard, a member of the Second Michigan Territorial Militia

"Any country that forgets its history is going down the road of losing its identity and losing its values,"he said. He noted that Kentucky suffered the highest casualty rates of any state or territory during the War of 1812.

 

State Rep. Randy Richardville

State Rep. Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, re-minded the audience that the Michigan House of Representatives passed a resolution earlier this year urging Congress to recognize the River Raisin Battlefield as a national historic monument. He said a decision on that might be made soon. Rep. Richardville also presented a Michigan state flag to Brig. Gen. Arflack.

 

Good Soldiers Plan

 

Members of the Monroe County Young Marines

 

Second Michigan Territorial Militia Ready

 

Firing Salute

 

Attaching the Kentucky Flag to the Lanyard

Members of the Monroe County Young Marines, including 13-year-old Richard Sanders, join with the Monroe Post 1138, Veterans of Foreign Wars, color guard in raising the U.S. and Kentucky state flags at the Kentucky Monument 100th anniversary celebration in Monroe Saturday afternoon. The Commonwealth of Kentucky flag was a gift presented to Monroe Mayor John Iacoangeli by visiting Kentucky National Guard Deputy Adjutant Brig. Gen. Norman E. Arflack.    Monroe Evening News

 

Raising the Flags on a Cold Windy Day

 

The Flags are Up

 

Reflecting with Pride

 

 

 Links:

The Monroe Evening News

Monroe Michigan Historical Museum

City of Monroe

County of Monroe

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All Photographs David Alkire Smith Photographic Collection

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