Cemetery hosts Memorial Day history tour

May 25, 2012
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If you’re looking for a way to commemorate Memorial Day, then head to the Forest Hills Cemetery, where there is more than 200 years of history. The Forest Hills Educational Trust (FHET) will be hosting a tour called “Answering the Call” there Sun., May 27 to celebrate Memorial Day.

“The history here is so rich because it covers so much history from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War,” said Jonathan Clark, FHET’s program director. “I can’t really explain how elaborate the tour will be.”

Some of the history at the 95 Forest Hills Ave. cemetery includes the burial plots of Dr. Joseph Warren Jr., who was killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill, and William Dawes, the other “Midnight Rider” of 1775 who along with Paul Revere warned the Colonial Minutemen the British were coming, according to the FHET website.

The Forest Hills’ Civil War lot contains many soldiers from Roxbury, which then included today’s Jamaica Plain, who fought and died during the war, according to the Forest Hills Cemetery Historian Elise Ciregna. The Civil War lot, along with its historic “Citizen Soldier” statue, was dedicated on the country’s first Memorial Day in 1868.

The “Citizen Soldier” statue, which was done by the sculptor Martin Milmore, depicts the common man of the Civil War and has been duplicated throughout the North, said Ciregna.

“It’s one of the first renowned sculptures to feature an everyman soldier instead of the equestrians ones like Washington,” said Ciregna.

Guides Dee Morris and Ryan Hayward, who is part of the Stow Minutemen Company, a historic reenactment group, and will be dressed in his Minutemen regalia, will lead the tour. The tour costs $10 and starts at 2 p.m. For more information, call 617-524-3150 or see foresthillstrust.org.

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