The Evacuation Day parade is on. The Sons of the Revolution, New York's group of descendants of Revolutionary War veterans, will be able to hold its historic parade this fall in Lower Manhattan celebrating the 225th anniversary of the last British forces to leave the city, a police spokesman said.
The New York City Police Department's commissioner, Raymond Kelly, ordered another review of the group's application for a parade permit yesterday after learning that it had been rejected in May. The police department holds authority over parades in the city.
Mr. Kelly directed the chief of patrol's office to review the application, Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said. The chief of patrol approved the application yesterday afternoon.
The initial disapproval notice issued by the police department denied the parade application on grounds that the event would interfere with traffic, as reported in yesterday's New York Sun. The cornerstone of the Sons' successful appeal was that a parade down Broadway to the Battery on Saturday, November 22, would not cause traffic snafus.
"We are delighted, gratified, and honored that the police department is allowing us to hold this special parade, something we do just once every 25 years," the president of the Sons of the Revolution, John Mauk Hilliard, said.
Evacuation Day was once the city's grandest holiday and parade. Part of the celebration recalls the moment when a young sailor, John Van Arsdale, climbed to the top of the flagpole in the Battery, tore down the British colors, and nailed the Stars and Stripes to the top of the pole. Van Arsdale ensured that the British naval vessels sailing out of New York Harbor would have to do so under the American flag.
When the British saw the American colors, they fired a cannonball at Castle Clinton, the last shot of the Revolutionary War, according to Mr. Hilliard, who is also the president of the Fraunces Tavern Museum on Pearl Street.
As part of the parade this November, a soldier will lower the Union Jack on a flagpole in Bowling Green and deliver it to a representative of the British government. Then he will hoist the Stars and Stripes to commemorate Van Arsdale's patriotic gesture, Mr. Hilliard said.