Exploring Military History through Music

Exploring Military History through Music

The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps in the armed forces is a part of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard). It is stationed at Fort Myer, VA. This unique military unit performs in uniforms based on those worn by the musicians of General George Washington’s Continental Army.  Uniforms from this time included black tricorn hats, white wigs, waistcoats, colonial coveralls, and distinct red regimental coats.

The corps features two historical music ensembles.  Watch this video and listen to The United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps play historical music:

This interesting regiment recalls New England’s historic past through its music. As mentioned earlier, our state and region were a central part of the United States’ early formation. Massachusetts was one of the original colonies and many of the patriots that participated in the Revolutionary War were from Massachusetts. The music that the United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps plays is the same music that once inspired the patriots serving in the Revolutionary War. As you participate in Veterans Day ceremonies, take a moment to listen to this early music and remember those who served this nation.

Learn more about this interesting regiment at www.fifeanddrum.army.mil.

[Photo Credit: Sienna Wildfield]

Excerpt from Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts (Seasons: Nov/Dec), a downloadable bimonthly publication produced by Hilltown Families that sheds light on embedded learning opportunities found in cultural resources that exist within the geography, history, and cultural traditions of Western Massachusetts.




Literary Lens: Walt Whitman and the Civil War

Literary Lens: Walt Whitman and the Civil War

During the American Civil War, poet Walt Whitman spent time visiting hospitalized soldiers wounded on the battlefield.  He traveled with soldiers from one hospital to another and visited wounded soldiers daily.  As the war continued, Whitman resolved to stay in the Union and serve the wounded as they recovered from their injuries.  It was a critical moment in his life and greatly affected his poetry later.

Lifelong learners and self-directed teens are invited to read Whitman’s The Wound-Dresser along with Bart Wolffe’s reading of the same in this video file:

Read the rest of this entry »

Historical Re-Enactments Bring History to Life

Historical Re-Enactments Bring History to Life

Reenactment at Historic Deerfield.

Living history programs and events in Western Massachusetts happen all year round and include local historical re-enactors portraying the life of New Englanders centuries ago at encampments and school programs.  They often showcase the skills and activities of people during war time periods such as the American Revolutionary War or the Civil War.  Participating historians help to preserve the heritage of our region’s past and the study of American history.  In addition to encampments, some units engage in battle reenactments which are rehearsed recreations of actual battles.  Read the rest of this entry »

Featured Events: Veterans Day & Military History

Featured Events: Veterans Day & Military History

November 11th is Veterans Day, a national holiday that honors American veterans of all wars. The original date has great historical significance – the armistice that ended World War I was on November 11th, 1918.

Today, Veterans Day honors all of those who have dedicated themselves to serve our country in the armed forces. Given Massachusetts’ rich history and role in the formation of the United States from colonial and Revolutionary War times to our contemporary society today, this is a day to remember the soldiers from the past as well as those today who serve our nation. As a result, there are many ceremonies and parades that happen on Veterans Day in Western Massachusetts, such as the Springfield Veterans Day Parade as well as parades and ceremonies in Greenfield, Holyoke, Northampton and Pittsfield. The celebration and recognition of Veterans Day is a reminder of our local history, our region’s historic past, and all of the women and men who served and continue to serve our nation.

Many towns host annual ceremonies and parades. Check your town web site and our list of Weekly Suggested Events for upcoming opportunities.




Volunteer & Cultural Opportunities to Honor Veterans on Veterans Day in Western MA

Volunteer & Cultural Opportunities to Honor Veterans on Veterans Day in Western MA

November 11th is the perfect chance to honor our Veterans, and there are many opportunities to do so.

When someone has lots of experience in a profession, we call them a veteran in their field – veteran teachers likely have years and years of experience, and veteran nurses have spent decades in healthcare. When we hear the word “veteran” without the name of a profession attached to it, however, it usually means only one specific thing – military veterans. While the term “veteran” is frequently associated with those former military members who have fought in wars, it actually applies to all honorably or medically discharged former military members who served for at least two years – regardless of whether or not they engaged in combat.

Veterans Day, a national holiday celebrated every year on November 11th, provides communities with the opportunity to learn about and offer appreciation for the service provided by military veterans. While many veterans fought in wars, many others served during times when the United States wasn’t engaged in combat and supported the country by participating in community projects, offering assistance during national disasters, and offering security to important government officials and locations. Regardless of your views regarding US participation in wars, Veterans Day serves as a time to thank those who have dedicated a part of their lives to serving their country.  Read the rest of this entry »

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