Hey guys, did you know the bicentennial of the War of 1812 is coming up? Oh, what's that—you don't remember what the War of 1812 was about? That's okay—neither does Albany, who doesn't have enough money to celebrate the landmark anniversary. And for the tiny pocket of history buffs who do care, that's simply not acceptable.
“It’s frankly kind of embarrassing,” Keith Herkalo, the city clerk in the battle site town of Plattsburgh and the president of the Battle of Plattsburgh Association, told the Times. “Wouldn’t we, collectively, as a state, want to tout our heritage? And the answer is, haplessly, no.” For the past three years, governors have vetoed legislation that would allow for a statewide bicentennial celebration of the War, because the state can't afford it. Meanwhile, other states like Virginia and Michigan—and, hell, even Canada!—have been planning big parties for years.
The Association is now looking to Maryland to get money for a commemoration, which is just embarrassing for New York. “I know people who can go their whole life and will be just as happy not to know about any War of 1812,” said one war re-enactor in Sackets Harbor, New York. But "This community thinks it’s important."