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Forgotten founding father: Warren County namesake to be honored

The Warren Sentinel

FRONT ROYAL — Warren County's namesake will soon be honored in local schools and public buildings, as the Board of Supervisors approved a resolution at a recent meeting to honor his memory.

Dr. Joseph Warren's contributions to America will be honored with commemorative plaques. As part of the resolution, flags will fly at half-mast every June 11 through June 17, which are Warren's birth and death dates.

The supervisors approved a request from citizen Larry Johnson about a year ago to research and develop a commemorative event and brochure to remember Warren. The commemorations were a joint effort from Warren County Heritage Society Director Patrick Farris, county staff and Johnson.

Warren was the forgotten founding father, Johnson said. He was a doctor who was appointed general at the Battle of Bunker Hill, in which he died after being shot in the head by a musket ball.

Had Warren survived Bunker Hill, "he could have been one of the country's foremost founding fathers," according to a history.com article by Christopher Klein.

In his life, Warren was one of Bostonís most prominent physicians, with patients who included Samuel Adams, John Hancock, John Adams and John Quincy Adams, according to Klein. He was also the Masonic grand master of the St. Andrew's Lodge of Freemasons.

Warren served as president of the revolutionary Massachusetts Provincial Congress and authored the radical Suffolk Resolves in response to the British's Intolerable Acts, which inspired Patrick Henry to say, "I am not a Virginian, but an American."

A charismatic leader, Warren played an important role in American Revolution battles, states Klein in the article. In 1782, Loyalist Peter Oliver said George Washington would be "an obscurity" had Warren survived.

Another key contribution from Warren include his role in dispatching William Dawes and Paul Revere on the famous midnight rides which warned of the advance of British troops on Lexington and Concord, according to the resolution.

The Warren County School system will commemorate the contributions of Dr. Joseph Warren through panels in all schools "in honor and appreciation for his fight for liberty and freedom on behalf of his generation and the future generations of all Americans and the Citizens of Warren County which proudly bears his name," the resolution states.

"It is a good resolution and it accomplishes what I had hoped we would accomplish, and that is to recognize Dr. Joseph Warren for his work in bringing to us a free and independent nation," Johnson said.

Supervisor Tom Sayre is glad commemorations will be placed in schools. He said Americans often are unaware of the countryís history.

There are no requests to fund for the design and construction of the panels and publishing of brochures, as outside funding may be available, Warren County Planner Matt Wendling said.

"It's fine time that we honor Dr. Warren," Chair Linda Glavis said.

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