Fort Necessity National Battlefield celebrated three special events during the period from June 29th to July 8th.
On June 29th a naturalization ceremony was conducted at the visitor center, where 26 individuals representing 20 different nations took the oath of citizenship. About 100 friends and family and park visitors witnessed the event and welcomed our nation’s newest citizens. The participants were then given a tour of the battlefield where the seeds of the republic were sown in 1754.
On July 3rd, the 258th anniversary of the Battle of the Great Meadows, park staff presented memorial programs throughout the day to commemorate the sacrifices made by the 33 men who died during the battle. The names of the known dead were read; for the unknown, a commemoration in French and English was delivered as a tribute.
The weekend of July 7th showcased a partnership between the National Park Service and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians with the presentation of a Cherokee Cultural Heritage Festival.
This event was present by the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and included the Warriors of AniKituhwa, their modern cultural ambassadors, and a program highlighting the Emissaries of Peace. While the Cherokees were not directly involved in the battles of 1754-55, they did serve with the British in the final campaigns against Fort Duquesne in 1758.
While traveling to their homes in the south many were killed by Virginia colonists who believed them to be hostiles who had stolen horses and cattle from local farmsteads. This massacre of allies led to the British/Cherokee War, which was ended with the Emissaries of Peace traveling to London in 1762.