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A message from the N.E.C.W.E. to our reenacting family… reenactors, living historians, event coordinators
“We surely live in uncertain times”, (W. Somerset Maugham; b. 1874). Oh, how true!
In consideration of the climate in our country in regards to matters of the Civil War (Confederate Monuments, Battle Flag, ACW History lessons, slavery, battle reenactments, etc.), the NECWE would like to offer the following recommendations to keep our reenacting community safe while we educate the public. There are those who will look for their 15 minutes of fame at our expense.
A Civil War Reenactment is a living and breathing museum. A visit to one of our “museums” includes the stimulation of all the senses – something that not every museum can say. All it may take is one bad incident to close the doors of our museum. If it happens, let it not fall on the shoulders of the reenacting family but on those of uneducated and insensitive individuals.
As we move into the spring of our reenacting season, please be considerate to these recommendations:
• A well-planned response to an act of disrespect and ignorance is always worth the time and effort (notably for the event sponsor, command leadership and local authorities to prepare for)
• Remember that in reenacting you represent much more than yourself
• When respect fades, so does common sense
• Be aware of the camera... it can be manipulated to tell a different story
• There is no time like the present to be a good witness
• A bad temper will only bring you down to another's level
• Accepting and meeting another's challenge is strictly your choice
• Discuss, don't debate (someone may be looking for a fight)
• Stay in your realm of expertise and knowledge... do not think or express an opinion you cannot back up
• Never allow yourself to be alone - there is safety in numbers
• Protect yourself and your belongings but know when to call for back-up
• Always keep an eye on your neighbor. Not everyone knows how to protect themselves
• Anything out of the ordinary should be addressed … if you hear it or see it, REPORT IT!
Those of us who support American history education believe that our “museum” is the appropriate place to address all these issues. Sadly, there are those in our society who cannot comprehend our method or style of instruction.
Continue to have faith in all that you do!