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Jamestown Celebrates Military Through the Ages
(A Review)
By Nancy E. Sheppard

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On Saturday, March 16 through Sunday, March 17, 2019, Jamestown Settlement hosted its annual living history Military Through the Ages event. This event brings together living history and reenactment groups from a range of periods throughout written history to provide entertainment and a bit of education to museum guests. In conjunction with their current temporary exhibit, "Tenacity: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia,” the event focused on the role of women throughout military history.

As usual, the event was chock full of reenactors and "living” historians setting up camp, wearing colorful costumes, boasting artifacts, and ready to educate guests as well as celebrate a sense of living history comradery with one another. Eras represented started in 8 C.E. and went through modern era, with displays brought by the National Museum of the Marine Corps, U.S. Army Transportation Museum at Fort Eustis, and the Virginia Army National Guard.

The event wasn’t entirely without incident when one reenactor came "out of character” to rant and rave regarding things that were both insulting and traumatizing to the guests who approached him for a history education. When museum officials were approached about the incident, they handled it swiftly, vowing that the reenactor did not represent the high standards and ideals they set out to create such a familyfriendly, educational atmosphere that is representational of the integrity and mission of Jamestown Settlement. The family that was at the center of the bereding was assured that this reenactor would not be allowed back for future events.

Overall, Military Through the Ages held true to its promise to provide an enjoyable, engrossing event with lively demonstrations, enthusiastic reenactors and living historians, and a celebration of military heritage and culture throughout all of history. Jamestown Settlement, in turn, also proved their incredible oversight of this (and all events held at the park) by making sure that all guests walked away from the experience having learned something and feeling like the park had their best interests and the interest of historic preservation in mind.