Saturday, May 18, 2024

Pennsylvania Cancels Battle Re-Enactments

'This is not just a pretend weekend...'

(Ezekiel Loseke, Headline USA) Pennsylvania has canceled battle re-enactments, joining a long list of states seeking to cancel public displays memorializing American history.

The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission issued the new rule, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The commission said that none of its 23 historical sites could be used for re-enactments that feature exchanges of weapons firing, casualties, hand-to-hand combat, “or any other form of simulated warfare or violence between opposing forces.”

The state agency said it imitated the National Parks Service’s policy.

The rule will cancel a re-enactment that has been performed for 40 consecutive years.

The re-enactment portrayed a rendition of the Battle of Bushy Run. A battle between Native Americans and British troops that was part of the Pontiac’s Rebellion following the French and Indian War. The Bushy Run Battlefield Heritage Society put on the re-enactment. Members of the Society denounced the rule at a community meeting on Sunday.

“This is not just a pretend weekend,” said Rob Malley, a board member of the Society. “If this all stands, we have to reinvent ourselves.”

The new rule comes on the heels of a failed attempt by the state to cancel the re-enactment over fake racism. Mr. Malley reported that the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission had previously requested that the event be canceled because “nontribal members” portrayed Native Americans. The group refused the request because it was last minute but said it would consult the tribes at the commission’s behest.

A spokesperson for the commission told WSJ that it is developing a rule that would “require members of federally recognized tribes to portray tribal figures in re-enactments at its historic sites.”

Pennsylvania is not the only state to have its history attacked.

New York saw several canceled re-enactments after the state prohibited weapons–including the black powder rifles used for re-enactments– from public parks.

In Maine, dozens of people recently protested Civil War re-enactors carrying Confederate flags.

Because the National Park Service has long forbidden re-enactments on its property, Gettysburg re-enactments have been forced onto private land near the original battle site.

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