For an afternoon, visitors at Wheaton’s Cantigny Park were transported to the 18th Century, a time when our young country was fighting for independence.
By recreating battles from the Revolutionary War, a group of re-enactors hopes to shape the future by teaching about the past.
The experienced re-enactors from the Northwest Territory Alliance feature era-specific weaponry, clothing, and battlefield tactics.
“There’s a lot of people that like the historical aspects. There’s a lot of women here that like the clothing and fashion aspect of it,” said Northwest Territory Alliance Volunteer Re-enactor Ronald Feldman Sr. “There’s a lot of people that like military history and a lot of people that enjoy early American history.”
Like the soldiers they portray, these actors aren’t getting rich fighting the redcoats. They do it for the love of our country’s history and a desire to bring the soldiers’ stories and battles to life.
“I hope they get a better understanding of what people went through to get their freedoms,” said Feldman Sr. “It’s very evident today that a lot of people don’t understand what sacrifices early Americans made to actually obtain the freedoms that we now have and fought dearly for.”
“It’s more of a volunteer basis to teaching America’s youth and adults and other teachers about the American Revolution,” said Northwest Territory Alliance Volunteer Re-enactor Ronald Feldman Jr. “[We try] to make sure they get everything historically correct.”
Here’s a quick quiz: Do you know who’s on the $10 bill? If you don’t know it’s Alexander Hamilton, then don’t feel bad– it’s something the Northwest Territory Alliance faces regularly, and its just more motivation to continue teaching.
“Because he wasn’t a president…a lot of people forget how significant that man was in founding this country and founding a lot of the functions and processes that our country currently goes through,” said Feldman Sr.
Giving the crowds a chance to see, hear, and feel what it was like to fight and live in the 1700’s, the re-enactors believe this is a learning experience that sticks with the audience long after the last shots are fired.
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