Remembrance of Killing


So what are your plans this weekend?  Since the mercury will barely hit 100 degrees this Sunday, why not head up to Fort Tejon Historic Park, where there is limited shade, and watch grown men play war. They will don the uniforms of the blue or the grey, and load black powder into their cannons, Colts and Remingtons. They will authenticate the Civil War battlefields filled with dead and wounded Americans. It is estimated over 50,000 folks around the country do this stuff each and every year. Obviously they believe that playing war is a good thing to do. After all, if we don’t have these re-enactments, we might forget about the 600,000 plus Americans who died.

Civil War

But I wouldn’t want our kids forgetting about Cowboys and Indians either.
This would make a perfect weekend event for the whole family. On Saturday we could start off with an Indian victory, say the Battle of Little Bighorn, 1876. The Indians killed  Custer and 267 of his men, and wounded 55. Then Sunday the troops get to win by re-enacting the massacre of the Sioux in 1890 at Wounded Knee. This will be more family fun because out of the 150 massacred Sioux, there were 47 women and children.

Sitting BullWhy limit it to the Civil War or the American/Indian War? There were some great battles in WWI and WWII. Let’s recreate some amazing battles of Vietnam.
Next May will be the 45th anniversary of The Battle of Hamburger Hill. Now there’s a good one we should re-enact. It took 10 days in May, 1969 to take that worthless hill that had no strategic military value whatsoever.  We had some stupidly aggressive commanders who committed FIVE infantry battalions, TEN artillery batteries, 270 air force bombing missions to overrun the TWO battalions of North Vietnamese who controlled the top of a hill we really didn’t need. It could have been an air force-only procedure.  We killed 630 of them. They killed 72 Americans and wounded 350. A couple weeks after we won that bloody battle we abandoned the hill for good.

vietnam

So what do you say? Let’s re-enact Hamburger Hill. What a great fun-filled learning experience for our kids. And of course, McDonald’s could sponsor it.

About bakoheat

Writer/Musician
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3 Responses to Remembrance of Killing

  1. Mary says:

    Did everyone have the history teacher (usually male) who rushed through everything until he got to the Civil War and then droned on for weeks about every single solitary battle until you were numb? They ruined history for so many.

    • bakoheat says:

      My mom’s next door neighbor spends every summer at Civil War sites. Been doing that for 40 years. He usually takes in 3 or 4 re-enactment battles. He is 80…lived with his mom until five years ago when she died at 99. Never married….I’m just saying…

  2. fiddlrts says:

    One of the most unexpected things I read about the Civil War was Winston Churchill’s take on the strategic issues in the war, which he snuck in as an aside in The History of the English Speaking Peoples. He just couldn’t resist putting his two cents in.

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