Visitors Appreciate America's Heroes At Heartland Military Day


TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)-68 years have passed since the end of World War II and 148 years have gone by since the end of the Civil War and Saturday, veterans of these wars were remembered at Heartland Military Day at Forbes Field Museum of the Kansas National Guard.

The Rolling Thunder Chapter of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association sponsored the event.

Fake gun shots captured the attention of an audience as re-eanctors portrayed soldiers from World War II.

Visitors at the Heartland Military event relived history by handling the military equipment used from the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korean and Vietnam War.

They also listened to tunes of the Fairlawn Road Swing Band and Topeka Big Band.

"Our mission is to remember the veterans from World War II, to honor their service and to educate the public about what they did and events like this gives us a chance to do those 3 things," said Michael Kepley, a Unit Commander re-enactor.

Re-enactors and veterans said they were proud to be apart of the nation's history.

"Oh, I feel proud to do this, it's fun!" said Brendon Cardero, retired veteran.

"Its really exciting for me to be out here. I think everyone has family or friends who were apart of it and it's really important that we pay that tribute to them," said Cecilia Gonzales-Rebeck, civilian re-enactor.

Event goers also paid tribute to a Medal of Honor recipient.

"It's great for me to be here and share with my friends and other veterans that have paid the price to live here and enjoy our freedoms," said Donald Ballard, Medal of Honor recipient.

Organizers say they hope that everyone who joined the event has a new found appreciation for America's heroes.

"We hope to teach the public about the sacrifices that were made by the veterans and those that came before us and what they did to earn us the freedom that we have now," said Kepley.

"Every veteran is a hero in my book," said Ballard.

All of the museum's indoor and outdoor exhibits were also available for viewing and the admission was free.


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