Taking place on June 17, 1775, the Battle of Bunker Hill was the battle where the famous words “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes!” were uttered. The phrase has long commemorated the determination of American colonists as they were outnumbered by powerful British forces.
Despite the fact that the British were better-equipped and highly trained, the colonists were able to repel two major assaults and either wounded or killed 1,034 of the 2,200 British ground forces. The colonists, on the other hand, lost somewhere between 400 to 600 men as they ultimately lost to the British forces.
While most of the Battle of Bunker Hill actually took place on Breed’s Hill, the name has long stuck. Nonetheless, the monument and exhibit lodge are both located on the site where the majority of the battle occurred. This 221-foot granite obelisk marks where this first battle of the American Revolution took place.
Today, the Battle of Bunker Hill is still commemorated every year in Charlestown, Massachusetts, though it frequently does not take place on the date of the actual battle. In fact, this year’s parade and activities will take place on Sunday, June 14, with activities beginning at 12:30 pm.
While the Bunker Hill Monument is located in Charlestown’s Monument Square, the parade will take place at the intersection of Vine, Main Street and Bunker Hill Street. The Orange Line/Community College is the closest Boston subway station. Commemorating the 239th Anniversary of the famous battle on Breed’s Hill, the Bunker Hill Day Parade features war Veterans as well as many volunteers dressed in period uniform. The free event also features members of the Charleston Militia dressed in Colonial attire as they perform shooting exercises, offer musket salutes along with a wreath-laying ceremony and play fifes and drums.
Following the parade, you also have the opportunity to explore the new Bunker Hill Museum located across the street at no cost. Another option is to follow the Freedom Trail to the Charlestown Navy Yard where you can take a free tour of the USS Constitution.
Located on the Freedom Trail at 43 Monument Square, the Battle of Bunker Hill Museum is open from 9:00 am to 5:0 pm daily. Completed in June 2007, the museum includes exhibits about the battle itself as well as exhibits regarding the building of the monument and the history of Charlestown. Admission to the museum is always free.
More commonly referred to as “Old Iron Sides,” the USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned naval vessel to still be afloat. Originally launched in 1797, it was the third of six frigates constructed as part of the Naval Act of 1794. Today, the ship can be found in the Charleston Navy Yard. The ship itself can be explored, while the nearby museum provides additional information about the ship and its history. While the ship will be closed until June 8 to prepare for dry docking, it will reopen on June 9 with Tuesday through Friday hours of 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm. It will also be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. The museum will also be open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm every day during this period of time.