The 2015 Annual Lantern Ceremony at Old North Church on Sunday night was the highlight of Patriot’s Day weekend in Boston’s North End. The ceremony memorializes April 18, 1775, when two lanterns were hung from the steeple of the Old North Church, launching what would become the American Revolutionary War. Signaling the departure of British regulars “by sea,” the two lanterns have come to represent the resolve and ingenuity of the American spirit.
Every year since 1875, on the eve of Patriot’s Day, Old North has commemorated the hanging of the lanterns by inviting guests to join a prominent member of the community at the Lantern Ceremony. This year, honors went to a team of healthcare workers, from Partners in Health, who have travelled to West Africa, to volunteer their time and medical expertise, to aid communities and individuals effected by the deadly Ebola virus.
The 2015 keynote speaker was Mayor Marty Walsh and the event also featured a reading of Longfellow’s poem, Paul Revere’s Ride by Massachusetts Secretary of Veterans’ Services, Francisco Urena and Jennifer Siegler. Rev. Stephen T. Ayres, Vicar of Old North Church moderated the event with music by the Old North Chamber Choir and 1st Michigan Colonial Fife & Drum Corps.
Attending the ceremony this year was Governor Charlie Baker, State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, City Councilor Sal LaMattina and Episcopal Bishop of Massachusetts Alan Gates. Also present were members of the Ancient & Honorable Artillery Company, Grand Lodge of Masons, National Lancers, Lexington Minute Men, Watertown Provincial Guard, Acton Minutemen and Wilmington Minutemen. Photos by Matt Conti.
After the Lantern Ceremony, the National Lancers performed a reenactment of Paul Revere’s Ride under Old North’s “Two If By Sea” lanterns. See the video.