Posts tagged ‘MAAM’


The World War II weekend at the Reading Airport is now history.  A short time ago I posted a piece describing the event and providing the date.  Along with the information I included my first published short story centered on that weekend event.

After working the mornings of all three days of the event this year, I would like to share some observations.

We had quite a few veterans of that war, along with more recent wars, in attendance.   I watched the World War II veterans, mostly in wheelchairs or supported by walkers, make their way through the gate to relive their youth.  Although there was one spry 94 year old, who could have passed for 70, come to enjoy the show and I’m sure relive a time long gone.  I tried to imagine what life was like when they were young men, in a foreign country, facing death any day.  And what life must have been like for the civilians.  In this day and age, could we muster the dedication on the scale to defeat the evil foe of that era?

These gallant men, participants belonging to the great greatest generation, rapidly dwindling, need to reveal their experiences.   If you know a participant of that war, gently try to persuade them to talk of their experiences.  Some are just waiting for someone to ask.

Also, if you know someone who lived during that era on the home front, ask them to share their experiences during that stressful time.

Their history needs to be preserved while we can still touch it.     


June 6, 2016 at 8:28 pm Leave a comment


For the last twelve years, or so, I have volunteered to work admissions for World War II weekend, held the first weekend of June by the Mid Atlantic Air Museum located in Reading, Pennsylvania. This year, it was held on June 5, 6 and 7th. I would like to share some of the special moments I experienced that weekend and which I will never forget.

First, I want to set the scene.

Picture this, fighters and bombers from both the navy and army air force, most more than 70 years old and representing the aircraft this country used to win the war. Among the bombers there was Fifi, the only flying B-29 in the world, along with a B-24, B-17 and multiple B-25s. I know to many, these designations are meaningless. But to students of history and those who share a passion for WWII aircraft, these titles have meaning. I won’t go on to name all the fighters, but all told, there were about 80 aircraft present. During the show, troop encampments were also present with more than 1000 reenactors and over 100 authentic military vehicles from that period. Represented were units from the American army, navy and marines. There were also British, German, Japanese, and French resistance reenactors. On occasion, I would also see uniforms I could not place, especially one lad dressing in brown with a huge black feather sprouting from his pith helmet.

What I enjoy most since I began volunteering has been meeting and talking to the veterans of that war. Ten years ago most walked in, now most are wheeled in by family members, but they still come. You can see the anticipation in their eyes as they enter the gates, a chance to relive their ‘glory days’. What I found special this year as I worked the gate were people who showed up with an extra ticket, and would say, “Give this to the next veteran you see.” This happened several times, and when the tickets were presented, usually to a wheelchair-bound former soldier, you could see the gratitude of someone’s generosity, and also, the appreciation for the recognition of their service.

For me, another special encounter was when I talked to a reenactor. I don’t know what unit he represented, though I think it was a marine outfit. He told me he had learned something of the hardships and sacrifices the men he now acted as endured. Here was a man, not even 40, telling me that knowledge brought tears to his eyes.

Honoring and remembering our history, the importance cannot be overrated.

June 9, 2015 at 7:16 pm Leave a comment


October 2020

Posts by Month

Posts by Category