Bowling Green will go to battle Saturday, all in the name of providing a living history lesson and honoring military veterans.
“Operation Anvil,” a World War II reenactment of battles in southern France that allowed U.S. and Allied forces to liberate that country from Nazi Germany in 1944, will be staged in the large field across Scottsville Road from the Phil Moore Park gymnasium and baseball fields.
Ron Cummings, a local Realtor and executive director of the Honoring our Heroes nonprofit organization that is organizing the event, said he is expecting more than 100 reenactors and plenty of WW II-era military hardware to be on display in mock battles that will take place at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
“This is sort of like a living history event,” Cummings said of the event that is free to the public and being held for a second straight year. “We’ll have people coming from at least six different states, and we should have a good amount of armor there.”
Although the tanks and artillery will be firing blanks, Cummings cautioned that the mock battles will be noisy.
“It will be extremely loud,” Cummings said. “When you’re there you’ll think this is a real battle. You may want to bring earplugs or some sort of ear protection.”
Cummings hopes to not only raise the decibel level but raise awareness of the contributions and sacrifices made by military veterans. He said a ceremony honoring all military veterans present will be held after Saturday’s first battle.
“To me, that’s the highlight of the day,” Cummings said. “Last year we recognized 74 veterans. We will honor anyone who served in the military, but we hope to have a couple of World War II veterans there.”
Cummings said the event will give those attending an opportunity to view some historic military hardware.
“After the second battle, people can talk to the reenactors and see the equipment up close,” he said.
Cummings said spectators will see some differences in the event this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’ll keep the overall crowd below 600 people per battle,” he said. “We will elongate the battlefield to spread people out. We have more than 100 acres to work with.”
Unlike last year, spectators will not be able to watch the mock battles from bleachers because of social distancing restrictions, but Cummings said “some people should be able to stay in their cars and watch the battles.”
Because of the absence of bleachers, Cummings advises spectators to bring their own lawn chairs and be prepared to wear face masks.
“We’ll be following all the guidelines we’ve been told to follow,” he said.
More information about “Operation Anvil” can be found at the website for the Third Division, Fifth Regiment reenactment group based in Louisville.
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