If you’re feeling patriotic today, check out one of the oldest military traditions in Massachusetts: the 381st annual June Day celebration, when the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company (AHAC) marches through Boston and reenacts the commissioning of the company’s new officers on the first Monday in June.
The AHAC was established in 1638 as a general volunteer militia that trained on a regular basis; today it’s the oldest chartered military organization in both the United States and the western hemisphere.
The parade starts at Faneuil Hall, at the intersection of North and Congress Streets at noon. From there, it makes its way to the Granary Burying Ground on Tremont Street for a wreath-laying ceremony in honor of the company’s first commanding captain. Next the parade stops at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul on Tremont Street for a memorial service for recently deceased members. Then it’s on to the Boston Common for the drumhead election ceremony, where outgoing officers resign their commissions and incoming officers accept theirs.
Lieutenant Joseph Regan, the executive secretary of the AHAC, suggests arriving at the common by 12:45 pm to see the election ceremony. The formal commissioning ceremony starts around 1 pm.
The AHAC celebrates Independence Day and other annual events, but June Day is its largest and most significant ceremony. More than 30 local groups, including the Lexington Minutemen and the Governor’s Horse Guards, are invited to participate.
Boston’s annual June Day Parade begins at noon, Monday June 3, at Faneuil Hall. To follow the parade, take the MBTA Green Line to Government Center or Haymarket (which also connects to the Orange Line). To watch the reenactment, take the Red or Green Line to Park Street or the Orange Line to Downtown Crossing. Find more information here.
Graduate student Lindsey Vickers (COM) can be reached at [email protected]; follow her on Twitter at @lindseyvix.