By LISA CAPOBIANCO
Bristol is about to make history again on the Memorial Boulevard this weekend.
On Sunday, the public is invited to the unveiling of a new monument that honors the Bristol men who lost their lives during the Revolutionary War.
Standing 11 feet tall and made of a black granite stone, the Revolutionary War monument now joins other war monuments on the Boulevard, including World War I and World War II, Civil War, Korean War and the Vietnam War. The monument has a three-dimensional figure of a traditional Revolutionary War soldier, which resembles Revolutionary War actor Tom Angels, as he is dressed in uniform.
The monument is engraved with 12 names of the Bristol men who died in the Revolutionary War.
“It really looks superb,” said Tom La Porte, who helped lead a committee to make the monument possible.
At the dedication ceremony, which begins at 2 p.m., Michael Ravita, the former music director of Bristol Eastern High School— will bring his own group of singers. The singers will perform three renditions of different types of Revolutionary War music throughout the program. Speakers will include Mayor Ken Cockayne and the regent of the state’s Daughters of the American Revolution will attend the event.
The event will also feature historian of the DAR Marcia Eveland as the keynote speaker, who will talk about the men from Bristol who died in the war as well as a historical overview of the time period. A member of the First Congregational Church of Bristol will conduct the invocation, and the ceremony will feature some Revolutionary War re-enactors as well as a cannon and a performance of Taps.
“This is a historic moment,” said La Porte. “This is a monument that’s going to be around for centuries.”
In 2013 Angels asked La Porte whether he could help start a movement to bring a monument honoring the Revolutionary War soldiers from Bristol. After receiving approval from the DAR at the time, Angels and La Porte formed a committee.
Last February, the committee worked together to raise funds for the installation of the monument on the south side of Memorial Boulevard. From veterans and members of the Katherine Gaylord chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) to historians to businessmen and engineers, the committee had a team of community members from all walks of life.
After receiving approval from the Bristol Veterans Council, the committee received a number of donations from the community, including a $5,000 grant from the Main Street Community Foundation and $2,000 in donations from local businesses in Bristol.
To date, the committee surpassed its goal of 50,000.
“We reached our goal and now we’re ready to make history,” said La Porte, adding that donations are still welcome.
The England Family Monument Co. has worked closely with helping the committee complete the design of the monument, which was recently installed, and there is now a connecting sidewalk that encircles the monument and connects it with the other war monuments on the Boulevard, said La Porte. The Bristol Garden Club is designing the shrubbery and perennials that will serve as a permanent part of the monument.
“It’s going to give people insight into the history of Bristol and their participation in the Revolutionary War,” said La Porte. “It’s going to let people become aware of the effort that Bristol men put forth to really attain our freedom.”
The dedication ceremony for the Revolutionary War monument will take place Sunday, 2 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Park.
By LISA CAPOBIANCO