When 65 to 85 re-enactors set up camp in Elmore Aug. 11-12, Bob Kelley hopes area families will visit the encampment to learn more about Americans who have fought and lost their lives so that we can have the freedoms we enjoy.
Kelley, who is “captain” of the First Regiment Ohio Light Artillery Battery 6 and Taylor’s Battery Company C, participates in Civil War re-enactments. When he was approached to bring his groups to set up Saturday and Sunday during the Vietnam Combat Veterans Moving Wall memorial visit in Elmore August 9-13, he said he wanted to do more than just Civil War history.
Throughout the spring and summer, he enlisted re-enactors from the War of 1812, pre-Civil War Mountain Men, WWI and WWII. He has also invited a Native American and Stonewall Jackson impressionist.
Kelley speculates that not many people realize how big a role American Indians played in helping colonists and early settlers gain their independence during the early stages of our country’s history. During the encampment, there will be demonstrations from a Civil War-era surgeon; a Civil War-era pioneer doing woodworking demonstrations using authentic tools from that time; and rifle and artillery demonstrations.
The Northcoast Veterans Memorial and Museum in Gibsonburg will be providing Jeeps from WWII and Korea to add to the display.
When asked about his “mission statement” and what he hoped to accomplish during the encampment, Kelley said, “First and foremost, we are there to help honor the men and women whose names are on the wall – those who gave their lives for our freedom. Then we want to honor all Americans who fought and died for our country.
“We want to provide a ‘living history’ for people to learn about our past – to have all history live on,” he said.