SALEM, N.Y. — Independence Day celebrates the declaration of independence from Britain by the colonies.
It was a decision that came with a heavy price of flesh and blood. But, it was a sacrifice soldiers from the Capital Region were willing to make back in the 1770’s.
The Revolutionary War Veterans Cemetery in Salem may look like an ordinary old cemetery, but once you walk through the gates you will and history behind our nation.
William Cormier is the Salem Town Historian who frequently visits the cemetery where 101 Revolutionary soldiers are buried.
Back in the 1770’s, Washington County didn’t exist. It was called Charlotte County, named after King George III’s wife.
Those fighting against the British signed up with the Charlotte County militia. Some were farmers, like Joshua Conkey and his wife Dinah.
“He was the Quartermaster, she was a baker. You had to feed them. We consider her our first soldier,” said Cormier.
Both of the Conkey’s were at the battle at Bennington and bloody Saratoga.
As we celebrate our Independence Day, Cormier suggests we take a moment to remember those who fought for our freedom.