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On Saturday, May 21, the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex will pay tribute to our nation’s military history with the special event Military Through the Ages: A March Through History. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., this free event will feature living history presentations, educational programs and entertainment. Re-enactors representing different time periods will bring to life military history on the grounds of the Fayetteville Arsenal, and guest speakers in the museum will discuss such topics as War of 1812 tactics and the history of African Americans in our armed forces.05-11-11-military-through-ages.jpg

In the past, the program has focused on U.S. military history, in conjunction with Armed Forces Day, featuring reenactors from America’s various wars and military adventures. This year we have expanded the program to include other countries, friend and foe alike, creating a unique living history experience for the visitor. Reenactors will represent familiar time periods such as colonial soldiers from the Revolutionary War and Union and Confederate reenactors representing the Civil War. Some of the lesser-known conflicts featured include the War of 1812, Spanish-American War and the Anglo-Zulu wars of the 1870s. Reenactors will be portraying War of 1812 sailors, U.S. Volunteers in Cuba, as well as British soldiers of the late Victorian era, and World War II German soldiers … complete with correct period uniforms, and in some cases, original weapons and equipment. Encampments will feature tents, campfi re cooking and displays of uniforms, equipment and personal effects, as well as the ever-popular horse drawn artillery display.

For those that like to celebrate spring with a bang, there will be weapons demonstrations throughout the day. From primitive fl intlock muskets of the Colonial era, to Civil War fi eld artillery, modern repeating rifl es and machine guns, the visitor will get a fi rst-hand experience of the evolution of military weapons. The changes in weaponry offer a fascinating look, not only at tactics, but technology and innovation. Military Through the Ages: A March Through History will feature a one-of-a-kind demonstration utilizing many different weapons, creating a memorable experience of sight and sound.

For the young, and young-at-heart, there will be children’s activities, food and live music. The whole family can enjoy old-time folk music from the Civil War era performed by Norm Boggs and Rob Morrison. Their performances not only include music from by-gone days, but music that is performed on period, antique instruments to achieve a true, unvarnished 19th century sound.

For the second year in a row, Museum of the Cape Fear will collaborate with the JROTC students from Western Harnett High School to present a spectacular flag ceremony. This impressive program features cadets with uniforms and fl ags representing every American conflict from the Revolutionary War to the Global War on Terror. As part of their curriculum, the cadets from Western Harnett also preserve and maintain an extensive collection of military vehicles, from the World War II and Vietnam eras. Their support group will be on hand to provide BBQ, soft drinks and snacks as part of their fundraising activities.

As part of the ongoing 150th anniversary of the Civil War, The Museum of the Cape Fear will also feature a special exhibit, Freedom, Sacrifice, Memory: A Civil War Sesquicentennial Photography Exhibit, featuring images of figures, artifacts and documents that bring to life the realities of our nation’s defining conflict.

There will be plenty of on-site parking available, for the convenience of the visitor. Please join us for a day of family fun, education and military history, as we present Military Through the Ages: A March Through History! For more information about this event, go to www.31daysofglory.com.

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