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Old Fort Niagara photo courtesy of Wayne Peters.
Old Fort Niagara photo courtesy of Wayne Peters.

'Soldiers through the Ages': Old Fort Niagara displays 1,200 years of military history


Fri, May 24th 2024 11:00 am

Old Fort Niagara Press Release and Photo

On Memorial Day weekend, Old Fort Niagara will present its annual military time line event, “Soldiers through the Ages.” This year’s event features recreated warriors from the 9th century through modern times.

Visitors will be able to tour a World War II training camp, complete with an M20 armored car and other period vehicles. Military vehicles from World War II, Korea and Vietnam will be exhibited by the Empire State West Chapter of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association.

Reenactors will establish period camps throughout the fort, allowing visitors to stroll through over 1,000 years of military history. Visitors to the event will learn about how soldiers’ rations changed over the years. They will also learn about uniforms from medieval times through today.

At 3 p.m. each day, the fort will present a comparative weapons program, tracing battlefield technology from the 17th through the 20th centuries. Visitors will experience firing demonstrations of Matchlock muskets, flintlocks, Civil War rifled muskets and M1 Garand rifles from World War II.

Another special display will focus on women in the military, from colonial times to modern, active-duty personnel. Presenters will explain how women contributed to the war effort in both combatant and non-combatant roles. Reenactors will also discuss the home front and civil defense during World War II.

Most programs at Old Fort Niagara focus on a particular time-period or event from the fort’s long history. “Soldiers through the Ages” is different because it allows visitors to compare and contrast military life through all of the nation’s conflicts.

Fort Niagara is one of North America’s longest occupied military bases. The French built the first fort on the site in 1679. When the U.S. Army finally decommissioned the post in 1963, the fort had logged almost 300 years of military service. Even today, the U.S. Coast Guard maintains a presence at Fort Niagara.

For more information, visit www.oldfortniagara.org.

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