New York City, Jan. 12, 2019—The annual Alexander Hamilton birthday celebration took place this year in two places—Trinity Church in Manhattan, and at the Alexander Hamilton Birthplace Museum in Charlestown, Nevis. While those in New York City labored under what some called “Valley Forge” conditions of cold and wind, the Nevis gathering brought together families in balmy weather to celebrate the presentation of scholarships to Nevisian schoolchildren.
Hon. Everson Hull, of St. Kitts and Nevis
Thanks to modern technology, the two celebrations were able to connect at several points. During the wreath-laying ceremony at Trinity Church, where Hamilton is buried, those assembled heard two presentations from Nevis representatives. Attending in person was the Hon. Everson W. Hull, Ambassador of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, who read the proclamation of celebration by the Nevis government. Then, over the wireless, the gathering heard remarks by the Permanent Secretary for the Premier Wakely Daniel.
Mr. Daniel’s remarks appropriately celebrated Hamilton as the author of U.S. economic success, emphasizing his promotion of “independence in the full sense” through the promotion of manufactures and infrastructure.
Then during the second ceremony of the day, when the AHA Society led a candle-light parade back to the graveside to sing Happy Birthday to Hamilton, Nevis and Manhattan were linked up again. Both locations sang Happy Birthday, after which those in New York City concluded with a rendition of “Silent Night,” which is celebrating its 200th year of existence.
The first ceremony of the day was presided over by Damien Cregeau, the AHA Chapter president for Connecticut. Connecticut is the home of the Coast Guard Academy, which is the location of the latest statue of Alexander Hamilton to be erected. Rudy Peschel of the Coast Guard graduating class of 1963, which sponsored the statue, also addressed the group, emphasizing the process of learning just how important Hamilton was to the securing of the nation.
As is traditional, clergy from Trinity Church, of which Hamilton was a member, also participated in the ceremony, ritually blessing the grave.
All present expressed the hope that weather conditions will permit a fuller celebration next year, as several elements of the program had to be curtailed due to the extreme cold.