Tonawanda News

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December 15, 2013

Flames Through Lewiston to shine on Tuscarora monument

Tonawanda News — The War of 1812’s British attack on Lewiston is coming to vivid life on Thursday.

More than 150 volunteer reenactors, from both sides of the border, will recreate the Dec. 19, 1813, attack during this year’s “Flames Through Lewiston” event — which also features the unveiling of the Tuscarora Heroes Monument.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, the actual 200th anniversary of the attack. “Fleeing” local citizens will run down Center Street as invading British Redcoats and natives take on defending American militia and members of the Tuscarora Nation.

According to organizers, The Tuscarora Nation has never been thanked for their heroic efforts in saving American lives during the 1813 British invasion, and the new monument will stand as a testament of thanksgiving to the Tuscarora Nation.

The monument is a tableau of three large bronze sculptures depicting men from the Tuscarora Nation saving a local woman and child who are running for their lives and is the largest War of 1812 bicentennial monument project in the U.S.

“This is about a forgotten moment, in a forgotten war, that will never be forgotten again,” said Lee Simonson, volunteer director for the project for the Historical Association of Lewiston.

The larger than life size bronze sculptures were created and produced by Lewiston resident, Susan Geissler. It is located at a prominent intersection at Portage Road and Center Street.

The monument site is filled with symbolism. The actual sculptures are standing on a platform shaped like a turtle, a sacred symbol of the Iroquois who believe the earth was created on a turtle’s back. The turtle’s back has 13 large scales representing 13 full moons during the year, surrounded by 28 smaller scales representing the 28 days of the lunar monthly cycle. The turtle’s head is pointed to the American flag, representing the alliance between the U.S. and the Tuscarora Nation since the American Revolution.

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