Re-enactors take public through Military Timeline
May 20, 2010
FORT DRUM, N.Y. - History came to life May 15 during Fort Drum's 3rd Annual Military Timeline at the Heritage Center.
During the event, re-enactors dressed in period piece uniforms to show off the North Country's military heritage.
"Today has been fantastic," said Kent Bolke, curator of the 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum Museum. "The crowd is bigger than in the past, the weather is cooperating, and we seem to have a lot of Families coming out to visit.
"The re-enactors love coming back. It is a little different every year, and visitors learn something new every time they come back," he added. "And we want everyone to know that we don't know what day, but we will be doing it again next year."
Role players at the timeline donned the dress of warriors from World War II through modern times.
"We have been out here the past three years," said Dan Buckley, who dressed as a veteran of World War II's 1st Special Service Force. "We are hoping to get people's attention to what is available here at the Heritage Center. (We hope to educate) the community and people on post ... and show them all the center has to offer.
"I've always been a military history buff, and a few of us got together to help represent the 1st Special Services, which was a unit made up of Canadian-Americans which became the predecessors of today's special forces," he added.
Events also featured demonstrations of military working dogs.
"I am performing a demonstration of working dogs from 1942 through modern days," said Christina Crawford, Fort Drum museum volunteer, who was instrumental in this year's timeline. "Children love it, because they don't normally get to touch a working dog, and this allows them to get up close with the dogs. It allows people to see that they are not mean; they are just trained to perform certain tasks.
"This allows us to showcase what the museum has to offer, and hopefully we can get more people interested in historical events on Fort Drum," she added. "And everyone so far seems to be enjoying themselves."
The Army's presence in the North Country may be traced back to the early 1800s, when in 1809, a company of infantry Soldiers was stationed at Sackett's Harbor to enforce the Embargo Act and control smuggling between northern New York and Canada.
The area grew throughout the next century and culminated in three divisions training at Pine Camp - 4th Armored Division, 45th Infantry Division and 5th Armored Division - along with numerous smaller units during World War II.
In 1984, the Army selected Fort Drum to become home to the newly reformed 10th Mountain Division (LI), with the first unit activating Feb. 13, 1985.
Planning for next year's event already has begun. For more information, contact the museum at 774-0355.