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WWII replay is a 'thanks' to veterans

October 21, 2002|by TARA REILLY

Tonia Miller of Ridgeway, Pa., said Saturday she drove to Boonsboro to participate in a World War II re-enactment because she wanted to say more than thank-you to the war's veterans.

"I do this because saying 'thank you' isn't enough," Miller said.

The G.W. Lushbaugh WWII Event began Saturday on farmland owned by the town of Boonsboro on Monroe Road.

The event, which is in its second year, resumes today at 9 a.m.

The re-enactment is sponsored by the Western Maryland Heritage Foundation.

Miller, who played the part of a female Russian "rifleman," said she has been a re-enactor for about six months.

"Russians were very brave in the way that they fought," Miller said. "And women were equal to the men in every way."

Miller joined about 350 other re-enactors from across the country, said Richard Ginck, president of the foundation.

"I love it. It's so fun," Miller said. "There's just so many aspects to WWII."

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Ginck said between 250 and 400 spectators watched the re-enactment Saturday, and he hopes more turn out today.

"We really want to honor these guys," Ginck said of the WWII veterans. "What they did for this nation and freedom is just beyond words."

Allied and Axis re-enactment troops set up camps throughout the farm, some lying in camouflaged foxholes, some shooting guns and others sitting around fires cooking pork and beans.

"What we're really about is history," Ginck said. "As you get into this, it just gives you more and more appreciation for the military. You see what these people do."

Merlin Hanson traveled from Baltimore, Md., to re-enact the part of a British commander in charge of the Allied troops.

Hanson said the event attracted more re-enactors than last year's event.

"I think it's great," Hanson said. "We had half as many last year."

Gates open for today's event at 9 a.m. Demonstrations will be held at 10 a.m. and noon. The re-enactment starts at 2 p.m. Children's festivities will also be held.

The re-enactment is named after George Wendell Lushbaugh, a Hagerstown native who fought as a U.S. Army private in the Battle of the Bulge, which took place in the Ardennes Forest on the German/Belgian border.

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