Re-enactments wrongly glorify war
The April 26 Post-Bulletin had a half-page story with photos of a civil war reenactment to occur in Mantorville on May 1 and 2 (pictures in the May 4 paper). One of the participants called it "family friendly — something you can bring your kids to."
Previously, in the Dec. 5-6 weekend edition, the P-B had a full page photo essay, mostly pictures, of 25 boys, third through sixth grade, who did a civil war re-enactment in mid-October. One fourth-grader was quoted: "I had a lot of fun in the war…" An insert said "Kudos (to the organizer)… to learn about the Civil War in such a fun way..."
The civil war: Fun?
Do these events tell the reality of the civil war: at least 600,000 soldiers died; the First Maine artillery unit lost 635 of 900 men in the first seven minutes in one battle; the First Minnesota regiment lost 75 percent of its men; one Virginia family had 18 family members die; the terrible damage inflicted by Sherman's march to the sea from Atlanta to Savannah Georgia?
These re-enactments sanitize and glorify the Civil War. They subtly contribute to the acceptance of war and the culture of violence all too prevalent in our society today.
Rich Van Dellen