The National Park Service will sponsor a World War II living history weekend at the Eisenhower National Historic Site. See authentic recreations of Allied and German army camps, complete with original World War II vehicles. Several hundred living history enthusiasts from over 40 organizations will portray military personnel from the European Theater in 1944.
Watch living history volunteers present programs on World War II medical services, weapons and equipment, communications, military vehicles, and the life of the common soldier. See dozens of World War II jeeps and trucks, and participate in a mock Army Air Force transport squadron D-Day mission briefing in support of paratrooper operations. Listen to the stories of civilians from the Home Front of World War II.
The weekend also features many book signings, special guided walks about World War II burial sites in the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, a World War II style “USO” dance, worship services and even an actual wedding.
Both days visitors may purchase lunch at the site courtesy of the Heidlersburg Volunteer Fire Company. The fire company’s food service will be situated near the south-west corner of the living history camp.
The Eisenhower bookstore will host several book signings. In addition to books written by our guest speakers, the authors Richard D.L. Fulton and James Rada will be signing copies of their book, The Last to Fall: The 1922 March, Battles, and Deaths of U.S. Marines at Gettysburg. In between the World Wars, the Marines held a field training exercise in of all places Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. They re-enacted the Battle of Gettysburg using the modern weapons available in 1922, including aircraft.
Licensed Battlefield Guide Ralph Siegel will present free guided walks about the World War II dead buried in the Soldiers’ National Cemetery. Though well known for Civil War burials, the National Cemetery is the final resting place for more than 400 soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen who died between 1941 and 1945. The interments include men who fell at Pearl Harbor and on D-Day in Normandy. These hour-long free guided walks are offered Saturday at 5pm and Sunday at 10am and 1pm. Visitors should park in the National Cemetery parking lot on Taneytown Road. The tour begins inside the Taneytown Road cemetery gate.
On Saturday at 4pm, a WWII U.S. Army Chaplain will conduct a Catholic Latin Rite Mass Service at the 28th Infantry Division camp while on Sunday at 10am, a Protestant Army Chaplain will conduct a non-denominational worship service at a mess tent near the U.S. Army Air Force briefing tent. Also, on Saturday at 1pm, an actual wedding will be taking place on the site at the 83rd Infantry Division living history camp. Ms. Kelly Heydt and Mr. John Kulak will be joined together in a World War II themed marriage ceremony. The public is welcomed to attend. However, all the seats will be reserved for the wedding guests that include relatives and close friends of the bride and groom.
Saturday night a World War II style “USO” dance will be held at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center from 7:30-10:30 pm, featuring 1940s music by the Gettysburg Big Band. Open to the public, tickets will be sold at the door for $10.00. A cash bar will be available.
The encampment will be open Saturday 9am to 4:30pm and Sunday 9am to 4pm. Admission to the Eisenhower National Historic Site is by shuttle bus. Buses depart from the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center located at 1195 Baltimore Pike. Weather permitting, on-site parking for cars only will also be available in a farm field accessible off of Emmitsburg Road, Business Route 15. Bus groups and visitors using wheelchairs should plan to use the shuttle system. For reservations, call 1-877-874-2478. Fees to enter the site either by shuttle bus or by parking in the field are adults, $7.50; children 6-12, $5.00; children age 6 and under are admitted free.
Be advised that all programs are subject to change. For more information contact the Eisenhower National Historic Site at 717-338-9114 or visit the website