Soldiers, Family members, and the public braved the heat to participate in the 82nd Airborne Division Artillery Molly Pitcher Day on Sicily Drop Zone, July 6. Included in the day’s events were a special operations parachute demonstration, airborne operations, live fire using a howitzer and HIMARS, hands-on rifle and machine gun range, helicopter and military working dog demonstrations, equipment displays, bounce houses and food.
Molly Pitcher Day was established by the artillery community as a way to bring Families together with food, fun and demonstrations of the Army’s artillery capabilities.
According to legend, Mary Hays, nicknamed Molly Pitcher, was the wife of an American artilleryman during the Revolutionary War. She was part of a patriotic group of women who volunteered to carry water from nearby springs to American Soldiers on the battlefield.
During the Battle of Monmouth in the summer of 1778, the weather was particularly hot, and men and cannons quickly became ineffective in the scorching heat.
At the apex of the battle, having suffered many causalities to enemy fire and the heat, the American cannon fire began to falter. Although her husband was among the wounded, Mary picked up a ramrod and joined the undermanned cannon crew, allowing the gun to resume its destructive fire upon the enemy. Mary played a vital roll in the war, putting service to her country before he own comfort and safety. Her acts of service are still evident in the military spouses of today who display the same courage and initiative supporting today’s Soldiers as Molly Pitcher did in 1778.