FORT A.P. HILL, VA–For the past 70 years, millions of Warriors have sharpened their combat edge at Fort A.P. Hill. The post’s Department of Army civilians have proudly supported Warriors that have deployed to battlefields around the world and supported countless military operations since World War II. And the communities that surround the installation have partnered with the installation in various ways to preserve the post’s readiness mission.
Mark your calendars: an event you don’t want to miss
June 11, 2011 will mark the 70th anniversary of Fort A.P. Hill as an artillery and maneuver training area. In view of this historic event, and sacrifices of the Warriors who have trained here, and the Army civilian employees and neighbors who have supported them, we invite everyone to attend a myriad of festivities held throughout the day.
An event intended to draw thousands from surrounding communities, the day will consist of a morning patriotic parade, historical tours, military displays, reenactments, and as a centerpiece, the Military District of Washington’s Twilight Tattoo pageant in the evening.
Americana Military Parade, 10 a.m., Main Street, Town of Bowling Green
Beginning at 10 a.m., the Town of Bowling Green proudly presents an Americana Military Parade. The parade will be centered on honoring those who have served, serve today and will one day serve this great Nation.
The parade will start on Main Street and be led by the following grand marshals: JROTC cadet, Vietnam and Korean War veterans and a Soldier. Highlights of the parade include JROTC, marching bands, American Legion Riders, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Soldiers and Patrick Falci, “Maj. Gen. Ambrose Powell Hill,” famous for his role in “Gettysburg.”
The Town of Bowling Green is located in a part of Virginia that is rich in history from first colony in Virginia at Jamestown in 1607 to the Revolutionary War to the Civil War.
Bowling Green Mayor David W. Storke was reminiscent as he noted the Town Hall was once the USO building. “I just think it’s very appropriate given the history between the town and the installation. The parade is a nostalgic way of galvanizing that relationship,” he said.
Storke said he looks forward to seeing the EOD Soldiers marching in the parade.
“It’s a cool reminder of how it used to be and how it all began.”
Historical and Art Gallery Tours, 12-2 p.m., Town of Port Royal
Port Royal was first settled in 1652 and chartered in 1744. Historic Port Royal will open the portrait gallery and have copies of the walking tour available from 12-2 p.m. In addition, St. Peter’s Church will be open for guided tours.
Port Royal Mayor Nancy Long shared in Storke’s enthusiasm toward the June 11th festivities.
“We are delighted that A.P. Hill has made this a community/county-wide event and we are thrilled to be a part of it,” Long said.
Military Displays and more, 2 p.m., Beaverdam Picnic area, Fort A.P. Hill
Following the community activities, Fort A.P. Hill will open the Main Gate off of U.S. Route 301, at 2 p.m., where the public is invited to enjoy various military displays and demonstrations at the Beaverdam Picnic Area. Plans for displays include military vehicles (M1 Abrams Tank, Bradley Fighting Vehicle, Armored Personnel Carrier, and HMMWV), military weaponry (Self-Propelled Howitzer), Explosive Ordnance Disposal equipment display, Veterans Affairs Mobile Outreach Command Vehicle, Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge, Small Unit Riverine Craft, a Civil War encampment featuring “Maj. Gen. A.P. Hill” and much more.
Beginning at 6:30 p.m., the U.S. Army Band, “Pershing’s Own” will kick off the prelude music to the Twilight Tattoo pageant which starts at 7 p.m. Twilight Tattoo is an hour-long sunset military pageant that features Soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) units — the Fife and Drum Corps, Soldier-musicians from the U.S. Army Band, “Pershing’s Own,” The U.S. Army Blues, vocalists from the United States Army Chorus and the U.S. Army Downrange.
With more than 100 Old Guard Soldiers wearing Army uniforms of the past and present, a portion of the show is dedicated to providing a fast-paced journey through Army history from Revolutionary times to your Army’s involvement in current military operations.
Just as crowds will watch the Army’s history unfold, they will travel on a journey reminiscent of Fort A.P. Hill. The installation traces its roots back to 1941, when it was first established as an Army training facility, initially a maneuver training area and later as a staging area for Maj. Gen. George Patton’s task force during World War II. Since then, hundreds of units have trained for deployment for such operations as Desert Shield/Desert Storm and missions in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
In fiscal year 2010, the installation trained nearly 94,000 Warriors–its highest training throughput in 16 years.
“I hope that June 11th will mark a significant day in our 70-year history–a day we can all come together as a proud American community united in patriotism and enthusiasm for this great Nation. I am humbled by the outpouring of support we have received from our surrounding neighbors to join with us in honoring our Warriors who train here, our Civilians who support them, our Veterans who must never be forgotten and our Families that stand beside all of us,” said Lt. Col. John W. Haefner, garrison commander.
“June 11th is about you–the citizens we support and defend. It’s our way of saying ‘thank you’ for all you do in support of the 100,000 Warriors who train here annually. Bring your family and bring your friends. There will truly be something for all to enjoy June 11th–whether it’s saluting our Veterans in a parade in Bowling, learning about those who came before us at the historic art gallery in Port Royal, or watching the Army’s history unfold in the Twilight Tattoo–you will not want to miss this event.”
The Port Royal mayor also emphasized the significance of the event. “I really hope families take the opportunity to make this a family day and take time to show patriotism to their children. How often do we get to see this type of performance?” Long said.
What to know before you go to Fort A.P. Hill
This event is free and open to the public. For access onto the installation, you will be required to provide a valid photo ID. You are welcome to bring lawn chairs and blankets because seating will be limited at the show. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.
Please leave at home weapons of any sort, glass bottles, alcohol, fireworks or any other types of explosives/pop caps, and prohibited.
For more information
Fort A.P. Hill will continue to provide updates at its website at http://www.fortaphill.wordpress.com. For more information, contact the Fort A.P. Hill Public Affairs Office at (804) 633-8324/8120.