Thursday, October 31, 2019

Fort William Henry’s Field of Flags

Lake George’s Fort William Henry is honoring all active and veteran military personnel as part of its Field of Flags. The annual event continues to commemorate our American military, past and present, for their service and sacrifice.

Located in the center of Lake George, the replica of Fort William Henry is on the footprint of the original 1755 fort. The original Fort William Henry provided a strategic staging ground to protect the inland waterway from attacks from the French.

In 1757 the fort was besieged by French regulars, militia, and Native Americans. After six days the British surrendered and were told they were allowed to return to Fort Edwards. Whether a misunderstanding or a break in the treaty terms, the fort was plundered and later burned to the ground. This battle was part of the French and Indian War (1755-1763), which itself was part of the Seven Years War between France and England.

Regular day tours offer a live military demonstration, audio tour, and musket ball molding. A military guide is available to explain antique objects found on-site as well as other period warfare. Children are welcome to “join” the King’s Army by wearing a uniform and participating in drills. After the guided portion of the tour, participants are able to conduct a self-guided museum and exhibit tour.

This special Veterans Day event has continued to expand over the years. The Field of Flags currently consists of 7,100 American flags on the west lawn. People can add their loved one’s name to a flag by calling the museum’s number at (518) 964-6647 with the veteran’s name, rank, time period, and his/her branch of service. This is a free service.

Names and flags will be on display from November 3rd at 8 am to November 15th at noon. Special extended hours will run from November 1-3 and November 7-11 from 10 am to 4 pm each day. The tribute will culminate with a musket salute on November 11th at 11 am. Refreshments will follow. This will also be the last day the fort is open for tours until its spring reopening in May 2020.

Photo of Fort William Henry Field of Flags provided. 

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Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

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