Boston Evacuation Day held on 17th March is a public holiday observed in Suffolk County. Boston commemorates the evacuation of the British army from the city of Boston after the Siege of Boston, during the American Revolutionary War. The Schools, government offices remain closed as the day coincides with St. Patrick’s Day.
The Siege of Boston which lasted for 11 months was broken under the command of George Washington, when strategically placed cannon on Dorchester heights forced the British army under General William Howe to retreat to Nova Scotia on 17th of March. This victory was psychologically important as it led to Victory in the war.
In 1901, the 125th anniversary of the evacuation, the Mayor of Boston declared the day as an official state holiday.
Dorchester Heights in South Boston is built in memorial to the war heroes highlights the celebrations on evacuation day.
- The Evacuation Day Heritage Committee plans number of events and celebrations for this Day.
- A contest is held for the Evacuation Day poster and essay writing.
- The day begins with a memorial mass at St Augustine chapel followed by announcing the winners of the contest.
- A procession to Dorchester Heights is undertaken by city officials, students and history buffs.
- A memorial ceremony is held by the Allied War Veterans of South Boston, who will then place a wreath to honor the people slain in battle, followed by a gun salute.
- Historical exercises at Dorchester Heights, which include the Lexington Minutemen, school choir etc.
- At Fort Hill another set of Historical exercises will be held, hosted by State representatives.
- A tour is scheduled for places with historical importance.
- A commemorative lunch is also held after the celebrations at Fort Hill.
- The celebration commemorates the war heroes who made a life of freedom.