Thousands attend WW II re-enactment

Tidioute sponsored another successful World War II re-enactment on Saturday with 140 American soldiers and 140 Germans soldiers coming together for one of the most spectacular events in Tidioute.

A lot of planning and hard work went into this past weekend and there were approximately 3,100 spectators who gathered to watch as the Battle of the Remagen Bridge unfolded.

Veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm as well as some troops who were home with their families attended the event.

Those in the front rows could feel most of the impact. Others relived it.

Re-enactors set up camp in the Limestone Ballfield next to the Tippy Canoe Inn on Route 62 just south of the Tidioute Bridge.

Visitors were welcome to visit the encampment. So many questions were asked and everyone received an answer. Souvenirs were available and there was lots of World War II memorabilia to look through. Several pieces of equipment from the time period were also on display.

There were re-enactors present from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Michigan, New England, New Jersey, Delaware, Ohio, New York and Canada.

Opening ceremonies on Saturday began with a presentation of the colors by members of the Warren County Air Patrol and the singing of the National Anthem by Cynthia Lindemuth.

Lee Lindemuth, Commander of VFW Post 8803, was the announcer who kept everyone informed of what was happening and what to expect.

A special plaque was presented by Pa. Representative, Kathy Rapp and Pa. Senator Scott Hutchinson to Ed Burris, a Vietnam veteran who retired from the Navy with 22 years of service. Burris became VA Director for Warren County in 2002. Since that time he has worked tirelessly for local veterans and has served as President of the State Association of County Directors, the State VA Commission and the Pennsylvania War Council, which advises the governor on veteran’s benefits. He has served on the advisory board for Soldiers and Sailors Home in Erie and sits on the veterans’ advisory board for Congressman Mike Kelly.

Guest speaker was Army MST SGT (retired) Steve Appleby, Director of the Eldred, PA World War II Museum who spoke to the crowd prior to the reenactment that began promptly at 3 p.m. when shots rang out from down near the creek at Tidioute Towers. Troops worked their way along King Street and turned onto Buckingham Street with several rounds of fire. Germans set charges on the bridge, done with pyrotechnic displays, as they crossed the Rhine River. The bridge did not collapse and was captured by the American forces.