A Busy Summer at the Pennsylvania Military Museum

Summer is usually the busiest season at the Pennsylvania Military Museum and 2009 was no exception. Starting with Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day in May and continuing through to the fall, programs and special events fill the calendar, keeping the staff and volunteers extremely busy.
(photo by William Cawthern, intern)

This year the usual excitement was heightened by the arrival, just before Memorial Day, of two massive guns from the USS Pennsylvania (BB-38). These guns, which have been in storage in Virginia for years, weigh in excess of 66 tons each. The effort to move them to PMM has spanned 10 years, so it is easy to see why there was such excitement when the guns arrived in May. The guns are currently on temporary supports while they are prepared for more permanent exhibit as part of a greatly enhanced outdoor (and indoor) visitor experience.

(photo by William Cawthern, intern)

The arrival of the guns was fitting, as they were in their temporary supports just in time for the museum’s Memorial Day weekend program, World War II Revisited. An annual event, WWII Revisited features reenactors of both American and German forces, plus a service canteen and USO show.

(photo by William Cawthern, intern)

Vietnam Revisited, an annual event that started in 2007, is held in July to approximate (as closely as you can in central Pennsylvania) the tropical climate faced by those who were “in-country.” Volunteers and staff share with visitors some of the experiences of combat, including patrols and ambushes, and try to help them understand what they are seeing. The response from Vietnam era veterans to the program has been very supportive and the event was covered by the Associated Press.

Still to come in October is Then and NOW, an encampment program that covers U.S. military experience from the American Revolution through to the present day.

There are many other programs during the year, so be sure to check the calendar for exact dates and times.


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