Thursday, September 6, 2012

World War II History Weekend

The National Park Service sponsors a World War II living history weekend at the Eisenhower National Historic Site on Sept. 15 and 16. There will be authentic recreations, programs on World War II medical services, weapons and equipment, military vehicles, communications, and stories of civilians from the home front of World War II.

Guest speakers for the event include nine World War II veterans, a retired National Park Service historian, and the widow of a veteran. There will be five speakers on Saturday, Sept. 15 with the first speaker at 10 a.m. and the last speaker at 2 p.m. Four speakers will talk on Sunday, Sept. 16. The first speaker will begin at 11 a.m. and the last will begin at 3 p.m. Each guest speaker will speak for one hour on each day.

Author Don Markle and retired National Security Agency employee, Rick Henderson, will be on hand to demonstrate a captured German Enigma Code Machine on Saturday and Sunday. Visitors may purchase lunch from the Heidlersburg Volunteer Fire Co.

An Army Chaplain’s Roman Catholic Mass will be held in the 110th Regiment’s camp on Saturday at 4 p.m. Also, the Eisenhower bookstore will host several book signings on Saturday with Bill Guarnere, Don Markle and Joe De Lucia. The Eisenhower bookstore will have Salvador Castro, Harry Butowsky, and Sandra O’Connel to sign books on Sunday. Both days, authors, Sharon Wells-Wagner and Steve Wagner, will autograph copies of their book.

The encampment will be open Saturday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission to the Eisenhower National Historic Site is by shuttle bus. Buses depart from the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center located at 1195 Baltimore Pike. Onsite parking for cars will also be available in a farm field accessible off Emmitsburg Road, Business Route 15. Bus groups and visitors using wheelchairs should plan to use the shuttle system. For reservations, call (877) 874-2478. Fees to enter the site either by shuttle bus or by parking in the field are adults, $7.50; children (ages 6-12) are $5; children (ages 6 and under) are admitted free.

Also this weekend, Licensed Battlefield Guide Ralph Siegel will present free guided walks about the World War II dead buried in the Soldiers’ National Cemetery. These hour-long guided walks are offered Saturday at 5 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Visitors should park in the National Cemetery parking lot on Taneytown Road. The tour begins inside the Taneytown Road cemetery gate.

A World War II style “USO” dance will take place at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday featuring 1940s music by the Gettysburg Big Band. This event is open to the public and tickets will be sold at the door for $10. A cash bar will also be available.

For more information, contact the Eisenhower National Historic Site at (717) 338-9114 or visit www.nps.gov/eise.

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