Families invited to take part in living history

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - The 25th Infantry Division's (ID) highly distinguished role in shaping America's past and present will be featured for Soldiers and families during Living History Day, here, at the Tropic Lightning Museum, Oct. 3.

"Living History Day is really an event where people can come and spend a few hours, or even the whole day, doing different activities," said Kathleen Ramsden, museum technician.

Visitors are invited to roam through exhibits and re-enactments of U.S. Army history, which will highlight the sizeable contributions made by the 25th ID.

Throughout the day, visitors can participate in on-post walking tours and peruse two notable collections: rifles from the Hawaii Historic Arms Association and restored vehicles from the Hawaii Military Vehicle Preservation Association.

Even keiki will be kept busy - whether in proving their marksmanship on a Nerf-gun shooting range, demonstrating their dexterity in crawling through tunnels like those used in Vietnam, or testing their drawing skills in a sidewalk chalk contest.

The latter activity, in fact, will be judged at the end of the competition, with first-, second- and third-place prizes awarded to the most creative artists.

"The day is designed to be fun for the entire family, and we want to encourage families to engage in these activities together, all while learning about (25th ID) history."

"We want people to do things they don't normally get to do at a museum, like play and shout," Ramsden continued.

The day begins with the presentation of colors by the Farrington High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) at 10 a.m. Shortly thereafter, members of the ever-popular Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii, dressed in traditional tartan kilts and playing bagpipes, will entertain visitors with their brand of Celtic music.

Civil War and Vietnam War re-enactors, played by Soldiers from the 25th ID, will be on hand to share their combat experiences with passers-by. Ramsden said visitors can gain a greater appreciation of what Soldiers went through on the battlefield by speaking with the re-enactors and listening to their stories.

She added that both static and interactive exhibits will be available to educate the public on the pivotal roles the 25th ID, also known as "the Tropic Lightning Division," has played since 1941, particularly during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and present-day Iraq and Afghanistan.

Finally, Ramsden said the event will celebrate the birth of Schofield Barracks, which celebrated its centennial in July.

Ramsden said self-guided walking tours will also be available.

"Visitors can pick up a brochure and walk to different sites around post, and read why that particular building is historically significant," she explained.

To compliment the walking tours, participants can watch old video footage of Schofield Barracks inside the Visitors Center.

"There won't be a lot of talking in these films, but it's still a wonderful way to learn more about the history on post."

Hundreds of people are expected to attend the free event, open to the public, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

The museum is located along Waianae Avenue, Building 361, Schofield Barracks. For more details or to schedule a group tour at the museum, call 808-655-0438.