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rjcluvvt
04-07-2006, 03:30 PM
I know that many living historians try to relive the past in order to present the way it was. I am interested in the living hisotrians who were veterans. Does trying to relive the Civil War invoke flashbacks from previous experiences. Does anyone try to relive the war they fought by reliving this war? Do you do living history for some othe reason than most living historians? I know that some of the questions are pretty personal but I do not intend to offend. There was a speaker at my college and he seemed to be reliving the vietnam war.

MStuart
04-07-2006, 04:39 PM
I've got a sneaking suspicion that you'll have a hard time getting that type of admission (if anybody even has one like that) on a public forum, open to the universe, and beyond. More likely you'll get the standard responses, which, I firmly believe, are quite the norm among those of us infected with this particular "bug".

In the "nothin fer nothin" category, I've got 20 years active duty service, and this hobby has little in common with fighting or refighting any modern war. Flashbacks?.........only from the 60's and 70's, but I wasn't reenacting back then. I was a pseudo-hippie

On a serious note, I suggest you speak to veterans, combat and otherwise, about why they served and what "war" means to them. You'll find that most soldiers abhor war. You can find information on that in many books, but until you sit down and speak in depth to a man or woman who has served this country, you'll never get anything more than what's in a book. If you know what I mean.

Soldiering got a bad rap in the 60's through the 80's for a lot of reasons, none of them the soldier's fault. It's only until recently that folks have begun to realize the sacrifices made by these Americans.

Off my soapbox

Mark

flattop32355
04-08-2006, 09:36 PM
On a serious note, I suggest you speak to veterans, combat and otherwise, about why they served and what "war" means to them. You'll find that most soldiers abhor war. You can find information on that in many books, but until you sit down and speak in depth to a man or woman who has served this country, you'll never get anything more than what's in a book. If you know what I mean.


The problem you run into there is the reluctance of some veterans to speak about what happened in anything but very general terms and instances. While that is very understandable, it makes getting a real appreciation for what did go on very difficult for those of us who weren't "there".

I knew a WW2 vet who was one of the first US soldiers to go into Japan after the surrender. He absolutely refused to speak of it beyond that he was there, considering it "not important". The belief that what they did as individuals was of no special consequence, along with not wanting to relive a part of their past they'd often rather forget aspects of, is not uncommon.

What I would hope these individuals would come to know is that their stories can personalize those parts of our history that many see as nothing more than sterile facts and dates, of no relevance to "us" today.

I'm a firm believer in the adage "Those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it." To share those stories is a vital way to teach the next generations and to make them a part of that history in a personal way. I appreciate that some of these stories are not pleasant to remember, but they are undeniably important and useful to many.

Remise
04-21-2006, 03:27 PM
One of my pards is currently in Iraq for the second time, and he is still very interested in what is going on in his Civil War "unit" over here. I doubt very much he is in Company K to relive his current life in the military, or that he sees any connection at all between his real war and our remembered war, save that he reported that his reenacting experience was helpful when it came to distributing the weight of his personal gear over his body.

Other than that, all the vets that I have known -- and I did not serve -- have said that it is, in part, the camaraderie that brings them to Civil War reenacting, as well as a profound sense of respect for those who served before them.

B.C. Milligan
Company K, First Penna. Reserves