Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldiers
Backstory and Context
Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers of the American Revolution in Rome, NY
In 1972, along the 100 Block of N. James Street, excavation crews uncovered, and the National Park Service identified, the remains of eight Revolutionary War soldiers.
A year later, the city established the American Revolution Bi-Centennial Committee. One project that the commission undertook was construction of a tomb in which the remains found the previous year would be interred to serve as a memorial to all of those unknown soldiers who lost their lives for the birth of this independent nation.
The remains are sealed in a Revere Copper coffin weighing 100 pounds.
On this Vermont Granite Obelisk, standing 17 feet tall and weighing 22,000 pounds, are inscribed the names of these states, the first thirteen colonies:
New York Connecticut
Georgia Rhode Island
Virginia New Hampshire
Delaware North Carolina
New Jersey Massachusetts
It is important to mention that a 14th is also named, as they will forever be recognized as our first allies, The Oneida Nation.
This site, designed by Lorimer Rich of Camden, NY, who is famous for designing the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery, was dedicated on July 4th 1976 (200th Birthday) with nearly 2000 in attendance.
On August 9, 1976, the following resolution was passed unanimously by the Rome Historical Society Board of Trustees.
“Whereas, events of transcendent importance in the establishment of American Liberty at the most critical stage of the American Revolution occurred at Fort Stanwix (then called Fort Schuyler) following the first flag resolution by the Second Continental congress on June 14th 1777 and
Whereas the Bi-Centennial Commission has designated a prominent flagpole location in the center of the circular walk leading to the Tomb of Unknown Soldiers of the American Revolution at the corner of Liberty and James Streets in close proximity to Fort Stanwix and its honored dead
Be it resolved that the Rome Historical Society following (the) erection of said flagpole by the Bicentennial Commission, WILL regularly fly and maintain an appropriate 13 star American flag in consonance with the first congressional flag resolution of June 14 1777. The Society will do this in reverent memory of our great heritage as long as its possession of this flag site makes it possible to fly the flag of its choice.”1