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New Utrecht Reformed Church

328 Years

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Immediate Release

BROOKLYN - Friends of Historic New Utrecht has announced its annual Liberty Weekend will be held this year from Friday, May 30, to Sunday, June 1, dedicated to Americans now in uniform and to veterans. Each year the historic organization, the Liberty Pole Association and the New Utrecht Reformed Church salute the American flag as a symbol of freedom.

"This year, our observances will have special meaning," said Robert Buonvino, Friends president. "We want everyone, especially people new to this country, including their children, to reflect on how precious our freedoms are."

On Friday, hundreds of school children are being invited to educational tours of sites rich with the history of the nation and "old New Utrecht," which is now Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Fort Hamilton, Boro Park and parts of Gravesend and Sunset Park. As in past years, Angela Sarro, event coordinator, has been making arrangements for many schools in Brooklyn to have their students participate.

Tours will be given of the
New Utrecht Reformed Church, which dates back 326 years, its Parish House and cemetery where early settlers of what is now Brooklyn are buried.

On Saturday the historic site tours are offered free of charge to the general public. Also, visitors to the church grounds on 18th Ave. at 84th St. may walk through a Civil War encampment prepared by members of the 14th Brooklyn Regiment Company H. Historical displays will be shown in the Parish House from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and a church tour given at 12:30 p.m. At 7:45 p.m., the
ISO Symphonic Band, directed by Brian P. Worsdale, presents a "concert under the stars."

Sunday's events are highlighted by an 11 a.m. all-faith service conducted by the church minister, the Rev. Terry Troia, in honor of U.S. troops present and past. At 1 p.m. a processional will be conducted from the church along Liberty Pole Blvd. (84th St.) to the old cemetery at 16th Ave. and 84th St. for a memorial ceremony at 1:20 p.m. at the Revolutionary War Gen. Nathaniel Woodhull's monument led by Chaplin George Munkenbeck of the 14th Brooklyn Regiment Company H.

Closing Liberty Weekend ceremonies will be held back on the church grounds at 2 p.m. at the Liberty Pole, where a flag has flown since 1783. It's 106 feet high and has a "Liberty Eagle" on top.

Additional information on Liberty Weekend 2003 is available at 1-718-256-7173.


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