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Ceremony in Norwich Tuesday to honor French sailors captured during American Revolution

Norwich — The Norwich Area Veterans Council will host a memorial gathering Tuesday to remember the 20 unnamed French sailors who were laid to rest in Norwichtown in 1778.

The ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. at the memorial on Old Cemetery Lane, Norwich.

The sailors had been prisoners of the British in New York and were being exchanged for British prisoners held by the French fleet in Newport, R.I. The sailors died shortly after being released.

France was America’s ally during the Revolutionary War, so the veterans council will assemble at the memorials to the French sailors that were installed in the early 20th century – one by the Daughters Of The American Revolution, and the other by the French government.

Reenactors in 18th-century garb will be on site. French flags will be placed around the memorials, and Tom Callinan, Connecticut’s first state troubadour and veterans council member, will sing two songs related to the French connection to the United States in its turbulent infancy.

For further information, contact Brian Hague, secretary of the Norwich Area Veterans Council at (860) 237-7323.

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