Evacuation Day Commemoration Honors Historic Day; Underscores Current Restoration of Site

Special to the Sun

The National Parks of Boston and South Boston Citizens’ Association will host the annual Evacuation Day Commemoration on Friday, March 15 at 10 a.m. The event is free and open to the public.

While the ceremony is traditionally held on the grounds of the Dorchester Heights Monument, due to current restoration work, the program will take place at the Edgerley Family South Boston Boys & Girls Club at 230 West Sixth Street in South Boston. Confirmed speakers include Congressman Stephen F. Lynch, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, National Parks of Boston Superintendent Michael Creasey, and state and city elected officials.

The Excel High School JROTC Color Guard will lead a procession to the western edge of Thomas Park for a wreath laying following the speaking program.

The commemoration will feature a ceremonial presentation of arms by the Lexington Minutemen and Henry Knox Color Guard. The Boston University Band will provide music.

Superintendent Creasey will share a brief overview of the current restoration project. The National Parks of Boston began the more than $30 million restoration of Dorchester Heights Monument on September 15. Funded by the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA), rehabilitation work will be complete by March 17, 2026, Evacuation Day, during the nation’s 250th birthday year. The Monument and its surrounding area remain closed to the public during the restoration.

The GAOA funds are being used to restore the iconic 1902 Dorchester Heights Monument tower and surrounding area known as Thomas Park. The rehabilitation work includes structural upgrades, masonry restoration, and improvement of the monument’s foundation, superstructure, exterior enclosure, roof, interior stairs, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems. The grounds, lighting, and signage will be vastly improved for visitors’ experience.

In early March 1776, General George Washington ordered the construction of fortifications at Dorchester Heights. Two weeks later, these actions led to the evacuation of British forces from Boston. For over a century, Bostonians in the South Boston community have commemorated March 17 as “Evacuation Day” at Dorchester Heights.

More information on the Dorchester Heights Monument restoration and photos are available online.

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