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March Date Friday August 25, 2006 March Day 70

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

A day of Pageantry!! The day begins with heavy overcast skies, certain for rain but only when it will begin? The tents are quickly taken down while still dry, and Sarah P. stops by during our chores and presents us with a donation... a quick gesture and she is on her way. The troops done full regimentals and the ladies are in their finest in preparation for the NY/NJ border crossing ceremony at Point Park, short walk from our night's camp on the green.

At 9 o'clock, we are police escorted to the park where approximately 100 people -
Veterans, Boy & Girls scouts, community officials and dignitaries are gathered under a quickly erected tent, and umbrellas are everywhere. Yes, it has begun to pour and we carry that unique smell of wet wool as we arrive. The pledge of allegiance is recited, the dignitaries speak in turn, the flags that we carry are exchanged by the scout troop representing the two states, Captain Mike speaks his words of appreciation and supports, mementos are presented to the reenactors, the Light of Freedom lantern is cermoniously passed from Suffern to Mahwah, and we accept the Bergen County Council Girl Scout banner to carry to Yorktown. The rain does not dampen anyone's spirit and many pictures are taken during this 45 minute ceremony. It is now after 10 AM and the 16 mile march to Pompton must begin.

We are provided with police escort and are accompanied by many citizens both on foot and by car....the rain continues. Along Ramapo Valley Road, 2 churches ring their steeple bells as we pass....Holy Cross Lutheran Church and Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church. I see Alex R., our enthusiastic supporter, waiving and smiling at almost every turn in the road. HOW does she do that?

Our first stop is at Continental Soldiers' Field near Ramapo college, a 20 minute stop again filled with locals taking many pictures. We begin again with our second destination being Sun Valley Farm owned by Carol and Dick Green. Here, Dick has cleared the woods from the main road down to his fields so that the troops may walk on the exact ground that the French soldiers had walked in 1781. Our hosts have also provided a luncheon reception with approximately 75 people attending.....fresh ham, biscuits, homemade jams, corncakes, cider and sweets.

Seems they also have arranged for the rain to stop. Thank you, Carol and Dick, and thank you to your guests who so generously contributed to our journey.

We set out for the remaining 12 miles to Pompton, noting that clumps of straw for directional markers have been tied to many of the sign posts on Route 202. Now that is some attention to detail!

The Washington arrives at Pequonnack Library in Pompton, our night's camp, about 45 minutes before the troops, and I find another reception waiting. Library director Rosemary Garwood has been anticipating our arrival, with historical society members and the mayor patiently waiting. I give the gathering a short "history" of our marchers, our backgrounds, and answering many questions of how we came to be, before we all exit the library and cheer the marchers as they approach. We are provided a fine fried chicken dinner and again interact with the locals of this friendly community. Later, we are taken by Rosemary and Maureen Brain to Spa 23 for showers, sauna and swim. All this has been arranged by Rosemary and her staff. Our every need was anticipated and they felt like old friends within minutes of our first arrival.

Tents were set on the grassy knoll at the side of the library building, with Rosemary herself camped inside for the night in case we needed her. We all retire to our beds after this full and busy day. No lullaby needed.

Avec Amour,
Rose