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Special ceremony to open Friendship Festival

A ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of the repatriation of the remains of U.S. soldiers who died at Fort Erie during the War of 1812 will highlight the opening of the 27th annual Friendship Festival on Sunday, June 30.

Discovered during home construction in late 1987, the remains were buried in a previously unknown military hospital cemetery on Lakeshore Road at a site locally known as Snake Hill.

The soldiers were wounded and subsequently died during the Siege of Fort Erie in August 1814 when the British Army unsuccessfully tried to wrest control of the fort which the Americans had occupied.

They were exhumed and taken for reburial in a military cemetery in Bath, NY.

The ceremony will be held at Mather Arch starting at 4 p.m. with a reception and commemorative walk over the Peace Bridge to follow at 5:45 p.m.

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