Newport to honor 1813 hero Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry
DIGNITARIES AND A NAVY BAND attended the July dedication of the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry as Rhode Island's Official Sailing Education Vessel at Fort Adams State Park. Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry will be remembered at a ceremony Tuesday marking the bicentennial of the Battle of Lake Erie.
COURTESY OLIVER HAZARD PERRY RHODE ISLAND/KIM FULLER
Commodore Perry, a South Kingstown native, helped assure American control of Lake Erie with his victory against the British fleet in 1813.
PROVIDENCE - Bicentennial celebrations of the Battle of Lake Erie and Rhode Island’s naval hero, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, will take place in Newport’s Eisenhower Park on Tuesday.
Perry’s namesake ship, the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry, is currently under construction and nearing completion in Rhode Island.
Perry and many of the men who followed him to battle in the War of 1812 were Rhode Islanders. In September 1813, they succeeded in capturing the British fleet and its flagship on Lake Erie, where Perry famously hoisted a battle flag with the now-famous words, “Don’t Give up the Ship.” His victory helped assure American control of the lake for the remainder of the war.
“Two hundred years later, we come together to celebrate Perry’s victory, our nation’s sovereignty, and the enduring peace between nations,” said a statement issued by the Rhode Island Commandery Military Order of Foreign Wars.
In 2008, the nonprofit organization Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island began turning the ship into a museum. The SSV Oliver Hazard Perry became Rhode Island’s official “Sailing Education Vessel” in 2012 after OHPRI helped garner support from state officials and funding from donors for reconstruction.
The Rhode Island Commandery will host the commemoration ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 10, at 11 a.m. in Newport.
Among the highlights of the ceremony will be guest speaker John B. Hattendorf, U.S. Naval War College professor of maritime history, and an 11-Gun Salute by the Artillery Company of Newport.
Other expected guest speakers include President of the Senate M. Teresa Paiva Weed, Newport Mayor Henry F. Winthrop and U.S. Naval War College President Walter E. Carter Jr.
Visit www.OHPRI.org to learn how to contribute to the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry, or contact OHPRI Vice Chair Perry Lewis at 401-841-0080.