World War II weekend at Rose Hill Manor brings history to life – Frederick News Post (subscription)

Growing up, seemingly everywhere Craig Singhaus looked he saw a World War II veteran.

His father was a supply driver turned combat solider in the Battle of the Bulge. Most of his neighbors served. He remembers one specific neighbors father who was a paratrooper and lost an eye in the war.

But in the years since, Singhaus has looked around and struggled to find the veterans dubbed the greatest generation that were once so prevalent.

It sounds bad, but there were 16 million of them back then, and I think we took that for granted, Singhaus said. We didnt necessarily take the time to talk about the war. … And a lot of them didnt want to.

But as that generation has aged and many, including Singhaus father, have died, Singhaus thought he should take steps to keep their memory alive. So he joined a World War II re-enactment group.

The group of Marines Singhaus joined up with were one of several World War II re-enactment groups to bring history of the war to life at Rose Hill Manor on Saturday afternoon for World War II weekend. The group set up tents and cots to live like the soldiers lived during the war, which includes camping out each night.

The Rose Hill Manor Childrens Museum offered free tours for the event as well.

Singhaus spends his days with the re-enactment group teaching visitors about the medical treatments of soldiers during the war. When a young girl eating a cherry snow cone walked up, Singhaus began telling her how combat medics used to dress wounds to stop the bleeding. If soldiers made it back to the base camps hospital, like the one in (the television show) M.A.S.H., he says, within an hour, often times they would survive.

As an older couple checked out a WWII military stretcher and medical supplies, Singhaus jumped into character to tell them about the diets soldiers used to be on. Meals for soldiers during the war were low in fiber, to keep soldiers from having to go to the bathroom during combat. After the fighting was done, they would often take laxatives to clear their system, Singhaus said.

I try to make it fun and have a good time with them, he said. But also keep it educational. If I can get a kid interested in history so that when he or she goes home instead of watching weird videos on YouTube, theyll read a book or look up videos to learn about history, I think thats great.

Groff, a teacher at Brunswick Middle School, started working with the Mid-Atlantic Districts Allied Airmens Preservation Society, after starting a history program at the middle school called Spirit of America Day that brought re-enactors to the school.

As someone who always loved art and old war planes, Groff knew this was something he could enjoy. He started doing sample nose art paintings on noses of airplanes which he has set up throughout his tent site.

One of the biggest thrills for Groff as a living historian is seeing the few remaining World War II veterans come to the re-enactment events. Several were in attendance throughout the afternoon on Saturday.

Its such a thrill to see them, Groff said. Theyre our heroes. Theyre why we do this.

Follow Allen Etzler on Twitter: @AllenWEtzler.

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World War II weekend at Rose Hill Manor brings history to life – Frederick News Post (subscription)

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August 20, 2017   Posted in: World War II |

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