Huge military display this weekend at NC Transportation Museum - | WBTV Charlotte

Huge military display this weekend at NC Transportation Museum

Source: NC Transportation Museum Source: NC Transportation Museum
Source: NC Transportation Museum Source: NC Transportation Museum
Source: NC Transportation Museum Source: NC Transportation Museum
Spencer, NC (WBTV) -

A huge display honoring the nation's military will be presented this weekend at the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer.

Military equipment, military vehicles, living history encampments, weapons, a special traveling WWI exhibit, lectures, and the museum’s own exhibits with a military theme will be on display during this weekend’s Salute the Troops: Military Through the Ages event, July 1 and 2. 

Additional event offerings include Salisbury National Cemetery and Confederate Prison site trolley tours, a USO-themed dinner and show by the popular Letters From Home: America’s Bombshell Duo, and fireworks.

Event admission is just $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $4 for children 3-12.  As a tribute to those who have served, the event is free to veterans and active military with a military ID.  Members of the N.C. Transportation Museum are also free.  Train rides, trolley tours, and the USO show carry additional fees.

Visitors will be greeted by approximately 100 troops set up with living history camps on the museum grounds.  WWI, WWII, Vietnam, and even the Civil War will be represented. Living history offerings will include a WWI medical air station, the 82nd Airborne from WWII, Vietnam-era pilots and Civil War militiamen, American soldiers and allies.  Discussions will focus on how those soldiers lived and worked, and the weapons of war use throughout history will be displayed.

Vehicles will also be highlighted in the museum’s activity field, including five Vietnam-era helicopters. The military machines scheduled to appear also include WWII-era Jeeps and trucks, a vintage military bicycle, and many more.

The newest “Ride of Pride” truck, featuring artwork that serves as a memorial to the attack on Pearl Harbor, will also appear.  Owned by Chief Express, from Seagrove, N.C., the truck features artwork that shows the military base prior to the infamous 1941 attack on the left side, and images of the base in the present day on the right side.  The truck was built locally, at the Daimler Trucks facility in Rowan County.

The N.C. in WWI traveling exhibit will also be offered. Created by the N.C. Museum of History, the exhibit of 10 information panels, propaganda posters, and related artifacts is supplemented by local items from the Rowan Museum of History and local collectors. Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into “the war to end all wars,” the exhibit pays tribute to victory acres, war bonds, and heroic efforts in battle, with a special focus on the contributions of North Carolinians to the war effort.

WWI will also be the focus of guest lecturer LTC (Ret.) Sion H. Harrington III. His presentation, “North Carolina and the Great War, 1917-1918,” takes place in the Bob Julian Roundhouse at 1 p.m. each event day. 

Master bugler Jay Callaham will discuss the military connections to an instrument that called many to battle.  Callaham will tell the true history of “Taps” and discuss the history of the bugle as a military signal. In addition to his 25-year career in the military, Callaham has performed “Taps” at numerous military funerals, and has even sounded the call at Arlington National Cemetery, a rare honor.

The museum’s own military-related artifacts and exhibits will also be displayed.  The U.S. Army Hospital car, which served in the Korean conflict, will be on display in the Bob Julian Roundhouse. The Merci Train 40&8 car, one of 49 such railroad cars given to each state in the U.S. and the District of Columbia by a grateful French nation following WWII, is also displayed. The lesser-known military connections of the #544 Seaboard Air Line locomotive and the Piedmont Airlines DC-3 will also be told.

Upgrade options to the event include Salisbury National Cemetery and Confederate Prison Site trolley tours. When built in 1861, the Confederate Prison was designed to hold 2500, but by 1864, there were more than 10,000 prisoners incarcerated. Some 3700 prisoners died between October of 1864 and February of 1865.

Trolley tours are $18/person and are offered at 10:00, 11:30am, and 1:00pm Saturday and at 12:30, and 2:00 p.m. Sunday.

Saturday evening will feature a special additional event. Letters From Home: America’s Bombshell Duo recreates a classic USO-style performance, with dazzling tap dancing, memorable songs, and a focus on patriotism. Offered at 6:30 p.m. in the recently opened Back Shop, visitors will enjoy dinner and the show for $25/person or $40/couple.

Fireworks will conclude the Saturday night performance, happening around 9:15, at the conclusion of Letters From Home. The general public can enjoy Saturday evening’s fireworks show from the museum parking area at no charge.

Salute the Troops: Military through the Ages will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 1 and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 2.

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