Call of Duty event set for Saturday in Egg Harbor Township

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Call of Duty military timeline event in Egg Harbor Township Call of Duty military timeline event in Egg Harbor Township

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – Reenactors from as far away as Washington and Harrisburg will convene in the small field adjacent to the Greate Egg Harbour Historical Society Museum Saturday, July 26 to present a timeline of America’s armed conflicts as a way to honor the nation’s history and the veterans who helped shape it.

 The authentic soldier groups, representing conflicts from the Revolutionary War through the Vietnam War, will also be joined by veterans who will share their stories of America’s military history during the daylong event, called “Call of Duty.”

“We will have reenactors from the Revolutionary War, Civil War, Spanish American War, World War I, World War II and Vietnam,” said Dan Lawless, the program coordinator for the historical society. “They will have camps set up and equipment on display. To represent the modern times, the 177th Fighter Wing will have a display set up as well.”

 Some encampments will have articles for sale, like historical videos. There will also be pamphlets and brochures on local historical sites such as the Millville Airport and the Battleship New Jersey.

The society has held other reenactments, but the “Call of Duty” event will be the first time it has coordinated a military timeline.

“We want to help educate the public different conflicts we have had in the past,” Lawless said. “The modern folks will be explaining the different types of weapons there have been over the years, how they developed uniforms, tactics and how the military has evolved over the years.”

“The reenactors are all volunteers,” Lawless said. “They are doing something they believe in, and they enjoy doing it. I think it’s remarkable what they do, traveling all that way to come down an area some of them have never been before.”

One reenactor, Matt Williamson of Bear, Del., will be attending with his whole family, all dressed in attire from the Spanish American War era as they present a 1898 encampment, he said.

 In addition to the encampments and the veteran discussions, a World War II-era band called the Fubar Boys will play two sets during the day.

 The event will also honor local veterans, who are expected to share their stories and answer questions at the museum’s gazebo. Purple Heart recipient Marco Polo Smigliani of Egg Harbor Township will be the host.

Bernie Friedenberg of Margate, a D-Day veteran who received the Silver Star for his service, will be joined by Betty Steelman, Peter Fontacone, Mike Rock, Dick Squires, Jerry Crosson and others as they share their stories.

“There may be others who may want to share their stories and they certainly can. Marco does a marvelous job reaching out to the veterans and inviting them to talk,” Lawless said.

He said it is fun for the whole family.

“The kids had a blast last year” at similar events, he said. There will be games for the kids in addition to the ability to interact with the reenactors and to ask questions.

“We want to make sure people come in and look at the museum too,” Lawless said. “We have nice artifacts donated by veterans and people who have had members of their family serve.”

One local man loaned the museum more than 100 pieces of Civil War items for the display.

 The events begin at 10 a.m. with a welcome from June Sheridan, president of the society and museum. A flag-raising ceremony will then be held with the AMVETS 911 Honor Guard led by Dennis Quinlivan. As the flag is raised a bugler will play “To The Colors,” followed by the National Anthem sung by Jim Craine.

From there, attendees can visit the encampments, listen to the music, step inside the museum or attend the veteran question and answer sessions until 5 p.m. when it concludes with a flag-lowering ceremony by the 9th Division and the playing of “Taps” by bagpiper Jim MacNeill.

The event and parking are free, though donations for future programming will be appreciated, Lawless said. There will be refreshments for sale.

A full schedule of events can be found online. See www.gehthsmuseum.org and click on the Facebook icon at the bottom left.


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