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Yorktown July 4th Festivities Dampened But Not Defeated
By Colin Boyd

July4 image1Early Independence Day morning was marred by the arrival of Hurricane Arthur, the earliest such storm on record making landfall in North Carolina. Yorktown also felt the effects of this storm, getting soaked with heavy rains and gusty winds from rain bands that came through overnight. The effects were felt enough to cancel the morning festivities for Y o r k t o w n ’ s Independence Day Celebration, including a 8k run and the parade that was planned for Water St at 9am. At 1pm however officials made the determination that battlefields were in good enough condition to move forward with the evening festivities. Those events included a Sounds of Liberty Bell Ringing Ceremony. Volunteers in colonial garments gave brief speeches about the significance of Independence Day to not only our nation, but also Yorktown itself. During the ceremony, the Declaration of Independence was read aloud, and the bell rang for each state delegation represented in the document. On October 19, 1781, Earl Cornwallis, Commander of the British Forces At York, surrendered his estimated 9,000 men to Commander in Chief George Washington. The British fought the rebelling forces for a total of 21 days in the Siege of Yorktown, but stood no chance against the 18,900 troops that the combined American and French forces had amassed.

Five years after the founding fathers drafted the Declaration of Independence, the defeat of the British by American and French forces at Yorktown helped seal the independence of the United States of America. Meanwhile back in July 4 image2the present day, almost 233 years later, the July 4th evening went on, and the crowd all along the beach grew in numbers. The United States Army Training Doctrine Command Band graced the stage from 8pm up until the night’s finale. Finally, the night was capped off with a large fireworks display set off from a barge in the center of the York River set to patriotic music. All of this meant to remind us of the freedoms we won on July 4th, 1776.


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