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November 15, 2006

November 15, 2006

Greetings to all,

At long last, I have arrived home after our long “March to Yorktown.”

After the ceremonies at Yorktown I drove north to Connecticut to unload my gear from Camp Martha - stopping along the way to visit family and friends.

When I arrived in Connecticut I was told that my company, Rogers Rangers (www.rogersrangers.org) was attending a reenactment in New Hampshire so I drove up for a few days to see them. While there I received a call from a production company in NYC telling me that I was selected to portray Gen.Guy Carleton in a film about Benedict Arnold the following weekend in Rhode Island. So, after returning to Connecticut to clean out “Martha” I drove up to Newport, RI to begin filming on the ship “Providence.”

It was ironic that the last thing I was to do this year was happening back in Newport, RI, the site where we began our ‘March to Yorktown,’ on June 17.

When we began this journey, and I think I can speak for all of us, we were pretty naive about the impact it would have on not only ourselves but the thousands of people along the way. We simply thought that we would be ‘just three amigos’ walking along the road -completely incognito-as if people did this sort of thing every day.

The impact on us was not only the physical and mental demands that we faced – such as
crawling out of the tent to bandage our feet each morning and tromping along the roads in 10 inches of driving cold rain—but also from the unexpected support and enthusiasm we encountered in town after town - day after day. What a boost to one’s spirit to find ‘cheerleaders’ along the worst of roads in the worst of weather, breakfast outside our tents and a warm meal at the end of a grueling days march.

The response from the general public was both surprising and very humbling.
I imagine the support and appreciation was due for a number of reasons – pride in one’s local history, an appreciation of someone making the effort, a release from the frustrations of our current conflict, to just old fashioned patriotism. Whatever the reason, people cried on our shoulders and welcomed us into their homes. Oftentimes it was difficult not to share in those tears.

So many things just seemed to work out for this endeavor. Without the many hours of effort from all of the various state W3R members our journey would certainly have been something much less—if not impossible. With the march, the W3R gained critical, positive recognition at a time it needed it most. A year before would have been too early, a year after, too late. It was a wonderful synergy.

There are so many people and groups I wish to thank such as the various state W3R members, the DAR and SAR, Scouts, marchers who joined us here and there, individuals and towns, Richard Swartwout and the rest of the March to Yorktown support group and
most importantly my fellow marchers, Rose, David and Dave for their dedication to making this dream come true. Thank you and Huzzah!

So many people, so many miles, so many wonderful memories for all of us to share. Thank you all for welcoming us into your towns and homes. We all made this march a success. We all made history together.

I remain,
Yr most humble and obedient servant,
Capt. Michael S. Fitzgerald
America’s March to Yorktown