MassMoments reminds us that on this day – June 17, 1825 – on the 50th anniversary of the battle the cornerstone was laid for the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown, Massachusetts. Daniel Webster, seen by some as the greatest orator in U.S. history was the master of ceremonies. He exhorted American “to make a thriving democracy and a strong union a living memorial to the men who had died there.”
…in 1825, at the laying of the cornerstone of the Bunker Hill Monument, Daniel Webster addressed a crowd of 100,000, including 190 veterans who had survived the first major battle of the Revolution — an encounter between colonial militiamen and a larger number of better-trained and equipped British Regulars. Eventually the Redcoats prevailed, but half their men were killed or wounded in the process. The militiamen suffered high casualties, too, but they — and people throughout the colonies — took heart from the strong defense they mounted. Fifty years later, “on the ground distinguished by their valor … and the shedding of their blood,” Webster called on Americans to make a thriving democracy and a strong union a living memorial to the men who had died there.