michaelsbagley

Re-enactors are disrespectful

28 posts in this topic

What made you think they paid for it? :)

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Interesting. And disturbing. Several points have been already mentioned regarding the use of reenactors in the footage. The point about safety is something of a joke, considering that the NPS in the past has required reenactors to pack up their black powder and keep it in a storage shed (wooden) so they could distribute the rounds for the battle. No telling whose cartridges you'd get back, and people don't all make them the same. And the PS staff were hanging around said storage building smoking. IF those kids picking up spent rounds for leftover powder might blow themselves up, what do they think an entire shed of the stuff will do? :blink:

Several years ago my RevWar group attended an event in Puerto Rico, to promote historic tourism. We ran into the director of the regional branch of the NPS. She was a lovely woman and had a lot to say about how much they loved people like us. So we got a completely different reception than the over all tone of the NPS has been presenting more and more. Go figure. I would love to have the opportunity to sit down with her and find out what has changed.

I also find it rather interesting that this video is (as far as I could tell) only featuring American Civil War Reenactors. Will have to watch it again to see if the living history demonstrators are all of that period as well. Perhaps it's a numbers issue. CW reenactors are a much larger group than most others, and this is a big year for them. As for disrespecting fallen heroes of a long ago war, what on earth do they think these guys do it for? Yeah, there's an element of "playing war", but for tourists it's a thought-provoking event. However, considering NPS gives preferential treatment to veterans, they just may have a completely different perspective.

FWIW, RevWar events have been moving to private properties more and more lately, because the NPS is so difficult to work with. Private sites seem to be happy to have us. Smaller local museums and parks also seem more willing to take advantage of the resources we bring (and subsequent draw for the public). Let NPS do their thing. Eventually the bean counters will figure it out. Or not, and we just evolve.

Sitting here and grousing about it, and squabbling here because we don't have the same perspective certainly isn't going to change how the people in charge do things up at NPS headquarters. If you want to do something, organize some sort of response to this video. Do something that will go viral, and see how the NPS does when they find out that perhaps this video was ill considered. Goodness knows this group has the resources!

Jen

NAI CIG

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"The National Parks Service's position on battle reenactments is based on an ethical position that it is fundamentally disrespectful to those who actually fought and died on a particular piece of ground to pretend to accurately portray their deaths, sacrifices and suffering."

'fundamentally disrespectful'. Ouch. Backhanded slap from the park service about ethics and an implication that we don't take the deaths, sacrifices and suffering of our forebears seriously.

I'm not sure how it is respectful to have small numbers of people doing firing demonstrations but not larger numbers. Either way you are putting people in uniform who are not suffering the same privations as the original.

I have noticed this attitude at Jamestown. You have the state park which brings in reenactors as volunteers. We do various military demonstrations. Over at the national park they have the Saint Mary's Militia. They march in, fire by drill, fire by mode of battle, and march out. Yawn.

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