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Ceremony celebrates Revolutionary War battle at Bunker Hill

The Sons of the American Revolution Color Guard were at Bunker Hill Day Tuesday.

David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

The Sons of the American Revolution Color Guard were at Bunker Hill Day Tuesday.

At an intimate gathering at the Bunker Hill Monument Thursday morning, a group celebrated the 239th anniversary of the key Revolutionary War battle.

On June 17, 1775, a group of American soldiers fought the British, causing an unprecedented number of casualties. Though this small group ultimately lost the battle, the event is regarded as a turning point in the Revolutionary War, according to Sean Hennessey, a spokesman for the National Park Service.

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In the Battle of Bunker Hill, 140 Americans died and 301 were wounded. The British lost 207 men and 758 men were wounded, according to war archives.

“The British never recovered from the damage this ragtag group of Americans caused,” Hennessey said in a telephone interview.

A nondenominational Mass was held Tuesday at the Saint Francis de Sales Church in Charlestown. Then the group of attendees walked to the nearby monument, where Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston delivered remarks.

“We were very happy to have this important Boston figure speak,” Hennessey said. “He gave a wonderful speech.”

The event ended with a musket salute from war reenactors, Hennessey said.

This small celebration follows a history of commemorations. In 1875, for the centennial celebration, a group of mayors from around the country were invited via telegram to celebrate in Boston, according to City of Boston archives.

Jacqueline Tempera can be reached at jacqueline.tempera@globe.com. Follow her on twitter @jacktemp
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