Lundy's Lane Battlefield Commemorative Park
Friends of the Lundy's Lane Battlefield
Niagara Falls, Ontario
October 2, 2012
Overview:Lundy’s Lane: Bloodiest battle of the War of 1812. High mark of the 1814 Niagara Campaign, the last time Canada ever suffered a major foreign invasion.
The Battlefield: A site of international significance; where the Regimental Motto still used today by the US Fifth Infantry was born; where James Fenimore Cooper, author of “The Last of the Mohicans,” ended another of his books. Overrun by development in the decades following the battle, the sacrifices made there never properly commemorated.
The project leaders: We are the Friends of the Lundy's Lane Battlefield, a charity founded in 1995. We have a chance to reclaim a key part of the central battlefield and develop a commemorative park thereon.
The project: The park will feature monuments, artwork and plaques commemorating the US position; the legacy of the War of 1812 (200 years of peace and friendship along the world's longest undefended border, the formation of a separate Canadian identity); and the Black, Aboriginal and Women's History associated with the site.
One of the highlights is a Celebration Place inviting Underground Railroad/Freedom Trail visitors to picnic there in recreation of the battlefield picnic the African-Canadian community held, on the first anniversary of the battle, to celebrate the freedom they would continue to enjoy under the protection of the British Crown.
The Prime Minister has said:
"The War of 1812 was a seminal event in the making of our great country … The War helped establish our path toward becoming an independent and free country, united under the Crown with a respect for linguistic and ethnic diversity. The heroic efforts of Canadians then helped define who we are today, what side of the border we live on, and which flag we salute … In moments such as this, the Battle of Lundy’s Lane, Canada’s destiny and identity as a country, separate from the United States, were decided."
Through our current project, a key part of the battlefield will be restored to green space, as it was at the time of the battle when the US unit that took the heights passed over it in the pivotal minutes of the climactic battle of the War of 1812.
As a result of our project, it will become possible to interpret the battle from the US perspective for the first time in 135 years! Visitors will be able to follow the path of the 21st’s daring advance upon the British guns that turned the tide that fateful night.
A major constraint on the central battlefield will be removed, opening the vista from the hilltop and restoring a sense of a historic place.
The Battlefield Master Plan completed in 1998 calls for the key commemorative message to be "The Peace Which Has Endured."
We want visitors to leave with an understanding of the legacy the sacrifices made here created - a clash so horrific that following the cessation of hostilities, the parties readily embraced a peace which has now lasted almost 200 years and sets an example for the world to follow.
Federal funding is available to help develop this commemorative park but we need to raise $450,000 - approximately half the overall price tag for conserving the site and developing a commemorative park there. $150,000 will erect the monuments and commemorative memorials. Your assistance is crucial!