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Pennsylvania Battle Re-enactors Up in Arms Over Fighting Ban

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Timber Rattler:
UPDATE:  PHMC backed down, at least for 2023:

'We're back': Bushy Run's 2023 battle reenactment will be held

--- Quote ---This year’s Battle of Bushy Run reenactment is back on after Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission members unanimously voted to allow the Penn Township site to hold the event this August.

The fate of future reenactments has yet to be determined. The commission plans to conduct a study and hold discussions to determine the reenactment’s status in 2024 and beyond.

About 20 Bushy Run Battlefield Heritage Society volunteers and supporters journeyed three hours to attend the meeting Wednesday morning in the State Museum of Pennsylvania. The crowd burst into applause upon the vote.

“We’re back,” said Rob Malley, a heritage society board member who has been a leading voice in the fight to preserve the reenactment. “(Now) we’re going to need the public’s support to show (the reenactment’s necessity to) PHMC.”

In January, commission staff members told Bushy Run they intended to adopt a no force-on-force policy at all PHMC sites. The policy, which was adopted from the National Park Service, deems force-on-force reenactments “disrespectful.”

Bushy Run leaders also were told that non-Native reenactors could no longer portray Native Americans at the site.

The no force-on-force standard resulted in the heritage society earlier this year announcing the cancellation of this year’s reenactment. Bushy Run’s largest annual fundraiser, the event portrays the 1763 battle between the British and Native Americans during Pontiac’s War.

The commission’s decision provoked backlash from community members and local lawmakers, the latter of which pushed PHMC to put the no force-on-force policy to a vote. Because the initial decision fell in the field of professional interpretation, it was made by commission staff and was not voted on by the 12-person commission, which includes elected officials and other state leaders.

Sen. Michele Brooks, R-Mercer County, who sits on the commission, expressed hope that the group will be involved in future conversations as the group is tasked with crafting a policy.

“I agree with you that history will be forgotten if we don’t have folks like you and reenactments and a commitment to preserve history — not dilute or erase history,” Brooks said to the crowd at the meeting.

Before the vote, about 10 people publicly addressed the commission. Speakers included Sen. Kim Ward, R-Hempfield; David King, leader of the Southwest Pennsylvania chapter of the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism; and Bonnie Ramus, president of the Bushy Run heritage society board.

None of the speakers spoke in favor of the no force-on-force standard. In their allotted two minutes, each speaker took time to share the battle reenactment’s impact on their life, the community or local history.

Now, at least one more reenactment will take place Aug. 5 and 6. As part of the commission’s vote Wednesday, the heritage society bears full responsibility if a problem occurs during the reenactment.

Ramus said Bushy Run folks are “thrilled” by Wednesday’s decision. She hopes the reenactment will continue for years to come.

“The expression of the history known as the Battle of Bushy Run has been held at the site for the past 40 years,” Ramus told the commission before the vote, “and our effort is to continue for another 40.”
--- End quote ---

Smokin Joe:
As for: "Bushy Run leaders also were told that non-Native reenactors could no longer portray Native Americans at the site."

Pity all those wokesters never heard the phrase "Imitation is the highest form of flattery."

I guess they'd rather be offended.

My people may have originated in Europe, but were well entrenched on these shores long before These United States came into being. How come we aren't "native Americans"? We were here before the country, too. Maybe capitalizing the 'N' in "native" makes that much difference.

But the idea that humans developed in this hemisphere AND in Africa nearly simultaneously, (even though no early hominid fossils have been found in the Americas) would be a bit too much simultaneous evolution for even the most hardcore Darwinist. (that whenever, by whatever mechanism, humans migrated to this continent, whether it be from the descendents of primordial ooze in Africa, The Garden of Eden (evicted!), or the foot of the Tower of Babel, it sure appears that the people who were here when that Erikson fellow sailed up moved in from somewhere west of there.


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