Word War II Re-enactors Bring History To Tulsa

Saturday, October 23rd 2010, 10:07 pm
By: News On 6

By Lacie Lowrie, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Saturday was a "Day of Living History" at the Helmerich Library. Visitors explored the life of a World War II soldier with the help of re-enactors and firsthand accounts from the front lines.

Forget books, some of the best stories at this library are told out loud.

"We are picking up the stories, we are picking up the information and we are continuing on the stories and making sure people don't forget that these guys served for us," said Exhibit Organizer Kevin O'Keefe.

Those stories are from World War II coupled with original military equipment, uniforms, personal effects and other memorabilia from the 40s.

"These are personal collections that each reenactor has worked diligently to create so that they are providing a specific moment in history for our patrons," O'Keefe said.

World War two veteran Ray Amstutz loves sharing his memories. "People think this is a uniform like I wore in Tokyo in 1944. That's not right, it's not like it, it is the uniform," he said.

With World War II veterans dying at a rate of nearly 1,500 a day, these re-enactors are sharing the fading voices history, and hoping young ears will listen.

"It's really fun just to inspire other people to learn about the different wars and what our people had to go through to get our freedom," said Re-enactor Gwendolyn Buckendorf.

The experience took people back to a time more than sixty years ago. And the first-person perspective is priceless.

"The world is not a pleasant place. There have been and always will be some fighting and so we need a good strong military and I am really grateful that people here are interested in what we did in WWII," said Amstutz.

If you missed it, the group that put on Saturday's exhibit will be out at the Jenks Air Show next weekend.