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Long Island prepares for 250th anniversary of the Revolutionary War

Stephanie Keith
Getty Images

As the country looks ahead to the 250th anniversary of the Revolutionary War, leaders on Long Island have announced plans for a commemoration of the region’s local ties to the American War for Independence.  

A bi-county planning commission will design a series of events to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and the role that Long Island played during the Revolutionary War period.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman announced the formation of the commission this week at Sagtikos Manor — a former headquarters for the British Army.

“This is something we will be commemorating as a nation but it's important that we commemorate it here on Long Island because of the pivotal role that Long Island played during this founding of our nation and during this revolutionary period,” Bellone said.

Local historians, educators and representatives from the five Native American nations on Long Island will participate in the planning to focus on local battles, the political division of loyalists versus revolutionaries and the impact on local residents.

Sandi Brewster-Walker, a historian and a member of the Montaukett Indian Nation, said she was happy to be involved in the planning and hoped the commission would take a realistic view of the region's Revolutionary War history.

"This is a time period that we, the Montaukett, we the Native Americans on Long Island, we lost our land," she said. "And usually people don't talk about that. But we also had numerous people from Long Island that were Native American that fought on both sides of the Revolutionary War."

2026 will mark 250 years since the Declaration of Independence was signed, kicking off over seven years of war.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.