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Oglethorpe Battery Park set to receive 18th century replica cannons

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Updated: 6/18/2013 8:24 pm
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- If you go by Oglethorpe Battery Park in the North Davis Shores neighborhood of St. Augustine, you'd never guess it was once the site of a 38-day siege led by the British.

But that will soon change.

"I felt we needed to show something there that there was in fact a battle," said Col. Ric Erkelens, project chair for the 450th Military Committee.

The 450th Military Committee along with the city of St. Augustine, the St. Augustine North Davis Shores Neighborhood Association and the local British Club decided to equip the park with three 1,120 pound 18th century replica cannons.

The purpose of the project goes beyond recreating the significant battle, it's a symbol of the importance of having a great defense system.

"Our focus is to use St. Augustine as a physical representation of what it means to protect people," said Colonel Ron Radford, 450th Military Committee.

The 450th Military Committee was able to raise $13,000 to cover the cost of the project, including shipping the cannons from Idaho.

According to Ekrelens about half of the donations came from people who live in the North Davis Shores neighborhood.

City workers are still putting the finishing touches to the bases of the cannons. The cannons will then be placed on concrete slabs and aimed toward the Castillo de San Marcos just like General James Oglethorpe's men did back in 1740.

Thanks to donations received from all over the east coast, the St. Augustine British Club paid for a flag pole which will permanently fly the British colonial flag at park.

Two more cannons are expected to arrive on Thursday.

About 170 dignitaries including the governors of Florida and Georgia have been invited to the Cannon Battery Dedication Ceremony on June 30th.
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