Last Saturday was the 10th annual Frank Harlow Day. The 10th! It’s hard to believe we’ve been embarrassing ourselves before our friends and townspeople for that many years, honestly. And, while everyone jokes about how we always have horrible weather, it really hasn’t been that bad other than the first year when it snowed and the second year when we had a monsoon.
I have the usual collection of photos to share with you. As we have done for the past 3 years, we encouraged adults and children in town to come and enlist in the 29th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. Each person who does that is given the name of an actual soldier from our town and they portray that soldier throughout the event.
They are instructed in the ways of Civil War soldiers. I call this photo “This is your right” and if you’ve seen the movie “Glory” you will know why.
When roll is called, our participants – from the littlest to the biggest – respond with a loud “present, sir” when their soldier’s name is called. It’s my favorite part of the day.
After roll call they all marched across the street and through the cemetery to Frank Harlow’s grave. Frank isn’t actually buried there (you can read more about that here if you’re so inclined) but there is a marker for his family and Frank’s name is listed.
The colors are posted at the monument and Dale says a few words.
This year our friend Anne placed the wreath on Frank Harlow’s marker. It was her first time as a reenactor and I’m pretty sure she had a blast. She was rockin’ that dress and apron, too.
The “real” reenactors (the ones with actual, ya know, guns) fired a salute to Frank Harlow and all of the fallen soldiers.
And then our friend Ted played taps.
They then all marched back through the cemetery and to the Common where they were dismissed by their captain. It’s always sight to behold and I’m so honored to participate in this day.
We spent the rest of the day knitting and sewing, talking and swapping stories of other reenactments, and just generally enjoying each other’s company. I call this photo “remember the ladies” because we’re the ones who really do all of the work. Right, Dale?
Speaking of Dale, prior to this year’s event, he had been saying this year would be the last. I was pretty sure he didn’t mean it, though, and it was confirmed on Saturday morning when he uttered the words I had been expecting all along
. . . next year . . .