Chilson man outlines vision for a Ticonderoga Militia'

TICONDEROGA Andy Belkevich of Chilson recently addressed the Ticonderoga Kiwanis Club, declaring himself a history addict and outlining his proposal for the establishment of a Ticonderoga Militia. Belkevich, who moved to Ticonderoga five years ago, is fascinated by the town and its historic aspects and surroundings. He is a long-standing historical re-enactor. Re-enactors focusing on the 18th Century regard Ticonderoga as a mecca. He noted that many, less historic, communities associated with the French & Indian and Revolutionary Wars have their own local troupes of military re-enactors who adopt distinctive, historically authentic uniforms, name themselves after the locality they represent, and regularly appear there and elsewhere ceremonially. But Ti has not thus far been blessed with such an organized group activity. Belkevich proposes to start such a troupe in Ticonderoga and suggested provisionally that the corps might call itself the Ticonderoga Militia. He pointed out that such activities are generators of interest, study, and execution of authentic clothing, orders of drill and (temporary) ways of life, and are also wonderful generators of fellowship among the participants and in the community as a whole. Belkevich adds that, historically speaking, living in Ticonderoga is like living in a village on the Normandy Beach. He sees the celebration of our location as something that can be extended beyond its current epicenter at Fort Ti to the town as a whole and to a significant group of local citizens interested in embracing the idea. How fine it would be, thought one Kiwanian present, to look forward to the sight of the Ticonderoga Militia appearing in parades on the Fourth of July and at Christmas, presenting arms and the colors on Memorial and Veterans Days, or simply marching down Montcalm Street on a summer evening or weekend. Belkevich, who was warmly received by the large crowd of Kiwanians at the meeting, said that he is looking upon the movement to raise and activate the Ticonderoga Militia as already under way. He proposes that those interested in moving forward begin to meet immediately and has volunteered to be the efforts point man. In fact, a Call to Arms has been announced, with a meeting at the Ticonderoga Armory scheduled at 7 p.m. on March 4. For more information, Belkevich may be reached at 597-9412. Turning to another subject in closing, Belkevich expressed his thanks to Kiwanis for providing a scholarship to his daughter Connie, a 2007 Ti High graduate, who is attending SUNY-Oneonta. The Kiwanis Club of Ticonderoga, now in its 81st year, is a service club that is one of the oldest Kiwanis Clubs in the nation and the largest in the Adirondacks Region. Meetings are held over lunch on Thursdays at 12:15 p.m. at the Ti Pi Restaurant, on Wayne Avenue, just south of Montcalm Street, during the colder months and at the Ti Country Club during the warmer months. Visitors and applications for membership are welcomed.

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