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Military Through the Ages in Jamestown returns: 'Reenactors are teaching different parts of history'

'We almost have 30 little individual classrooms spread across the property'
military through the ages.jpg
Posted at 12:07 AM, Mar 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-22 00:07:38-04

JAMESTOWN, Va. -- Military Through the Ages, an annual program hosted by the Jamestown Settlement Museum, is not your typical school history class.

The weekend-long event introduced attendees to some of the soldiers who have fought in battles throughout history and see how they lived.

"Everywhere you turn, they'll be a different time period of history,” Homer Lanier, the museum's event manager, said. “We'll start from the 9th century AD, we'll come up through the American Revolution, we'll come all the way to the Virginia National Guard."

It offers visitors a glimpse into the conditions soldiers endured during different time periods, their tools, and how wars have changed through history.

"We almost have 30 little individual classrooms spread across the property,” Lanier explained, “where our reenactors are teaching different parts of history.”

It is back this year. It was canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"It was unfortunate, disappointing for everyone, but as you can see this year we have about 350 reenactors with us,” Lanier said. "I think folks are excited this year to make up for last year."

This year though, visitors will have to wear face coverings, social distance, and the hands-on experiences are being limited. You will still see the civil war, the world wars, and even the Vietnam War, just to name a few reenactments.

"Welcome to warm, sunny, South Vietnam,” Kevin Cornell, the Vietnam War Camp’s reenactment volunteer, said, as he showcased the line he would greet visitors with.

His camp consists of replicas and genuine items that were from the Vietnam War.

"This is a PRC 25, it is the standard radio that was used in Vietnam by US forces,” Cornell said as he demonstrated some of the gear. “My weapon is known as the CAR 15, this is a replica."

He volunteered with Military Through The Ages for 15 years. His interest is in this specific war and its history, and he is passionate about teaching it to visitors.

"I know some trainers that were there, and you hear their stories and you see what they had to say,” Cornell explained, "The things they did and you think it's important for people to know that. It's a segment of the Vietnam War."

Next to Cornell’s camp are camps reenacting World War I and World War II. These but a few of 30 reenactment camps people can learn from.

"They'll walk away with a new appreciation for fighting men and women,” Lanier said. “And they'll get a great dose of history."

For more information about the program, to purchase tickets, or inquire about participating in future Military Through The Ages reenactment, click here to be taken to the museum’s website.