History in your back yard

Published 9:07 pm Friday, October 26, 2012

Most of us in the work force look forward to a paid day off. Once the Labor Day holiday is behind us, we plow full steam ahead to early November for Veterans Day. While we may plan to shop the sales to get a head start on Christmas, it really is our duty as Americans to take the time to acknowledge the service of all military veterans.
At Historic Bath, we will be observing Veterans Day on Nov. 10 with a Revolutionary War encampment at Bonner Point beginning at 10 a.m. and concluding at 4 p.m. Uniformed historical interpreters from the 64th Regiment of Foot (British) will perform musket-firing demonstrations, wear appropriate uniforms and conduct equipment talks and present camp-crafts demonstrations throughout the day. This is a free event. In the past, it has proven to be a day of fun interaction and insight into the everyday life of a soldier during the Colonial period.
So how did this holiday get started? At the end of World War I (the treaty was actually signed on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour), President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as a day of recognition of those that served in World War I, and it would be know as Armistice Day. The first year of this observance was 1919. On May 13, 1938, a congressional act was passed to make Armistice Day a legal holiday. Just a few years later, the United States found itself once again at war, which produced a new crop of veterans. In 1945, with the backing of Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, a group of veterans petitioned the administration to change Armistice Day to include all war veterans. On June 1, 1954, under President Dwight Eisenhower, Armistice Day was officially renamed Veterans Day in honor of all veterans of all wars.
So this year as you take time to thank veterans for our freedom, come mingle with Revolutionary War re-enactors and experience a soldier’s life from times past.
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The Historic Bath Visitor Center is located at 207 Carteret St. in Bath. You may call the Visitor Center for more information at 252-923-3971.  The center is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. We offer tours daily, but we can also tailor a visit (with advance notice) to meet your needs, depending on the size and ages of the group and its interests. Call us to learn what we can offer you and to schedule groups of more than 10 members. During our nonoperating hours, walking tour brochures may be found outside the front door entrance.