Veterans day

The kids and I met my sister for a day of honoring and remembering our veterans.  We went to a local park complete with historic buildings relocated from all over the state and set up as an authentic early American town from the 1800’s.  I love history and this kind of place is right up my alley.  As we arrived, the formal program they were offering began, and we headed to the church where we sang patriotic songs, heard testimony from a veteran and even witnessed “Abraham Lincoln” give his famous Gettysburg Address.  I found myself teary a few times thinking about the sacrifices our veterans have made and how much I love our great country.  I’ve been thinking about this stuff a lot lately.

We watched veteran soldiers dressed in authentic civil war and modern-day uniforms fire their weapons (with blanks, of course) and we learned a bit about how they operate. Yesterday we happened to watch this movie, not even knowing that it would be part of our experience today. How lucky that we did, because we all had a bit of prior knowledge which made this part of the program really relevant and especially interesting.  The boys unanimously voted this as the best part of the experience.  They collected the shell casings left from the fired rounds and clutched them in their hands all day (the girls too!)

We got to take a close look at all sorts of soldier gear, and artifacts from the different parts of the world where American soldiers have served.

I even got to see what it would be like to dress as a woman living in the Middle East.  Cannot imagine wearing this all the time!

The kids tried some things on as well…

When the formal program was over, we headed out to tour the rest of the “town”.

We visited the one-room schoolhouse and the kids got to reenact part of a typical school day…

They learned  how kids who misbehaved at school were disciplined (and I got some great new techniques I can’t wait to try….no I’m only kidding. Sort of.)

We walked through several homes of the time period…they were so cool!  We really felt like we were stepping back in time.

The pies you see below were freshly baked in the black oven you see above.  They’re for real at this place!

Squash pie (above photo) also freshly baked on site (in a different house).  It smelled really good around there.

We visited the general store…

We learned how log cabins were converted into more “modern” style homes. If you’ll notice in the photo below, they simply covered the log walls and ceilings up!

We fed some chickens…

And by the time we made it all the way back to where we started, Abe Lincoln and the rest of those amazing veteran soldiers we saw at the beginning were there to bid us farewell…

I plan to visit again soon, as there were some buildings that we missed (the blacksmith, the bank, the depot…).  I hear that at Christmastime they decorate the whole place up, give horse-drawn carriage rides through the streets and have groups of Christmas carolers singing door to door….I think we’ll have to make it back for that for sure.

In the mean time, we remember the brave men and women who serve this country.  We can never know the extent of your sacrifice, or thank you enough for it.  We remember you, we honor you…we wouldn’t be the great country we are without you.