SACRIFICES OF U.S. TROOPS TO BE HONORED DURING HISTORIC SOLDIERS WEEKEND ACTIVITIES AT FORT MOTT STATE PARK IN SALEM COUNTY
ANNUAL EVENT TO FEATURE RE-ENACTMENTS, ENCAMPMENTS, MILITARY EQUIPMENT DISPLAYS AND VENDORS DURING WEEKEND OF SEPTEMBER 23-24
(17/P90) TRENTON – Visitors will be able to honor the bravery and sacrifices of U.S. troops throughout history during the 13th Annual Historic Soldiers Weekend from September 23 to 24 at Fort Mott State Park in Salem County, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin announced.
Visitors can watch weapon demonstrations, look at encampments, and see historic military equipment up close during Historic Soldiers Weekend at Fort Mott in Pennsville. The free event hosted by DEP and the 9th Division WWII Historic Preservation Society is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, September 23 and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, September 24.
“Historic Soldiers Weekend provides a unique opportunity for visitors to not only appreciate the service of our troops, but to view activities to help them understand what our soldiers experienced,” said Rich Boornazian, Assistant Commissioner for Natural and Historic Resources. “People will have the opportunity to see important military history firsthand while enjoying the beauty and tranquility of a historic military fort on one of New Jersey’s most scenic waterways.”
“Fort Mott has an important role in New Jersey and American history, with it serving as a strategic defense point on the Delaware River since the 1890s, as well as an Army base at one time,” said Mark Texel, Director of Parks and Forestry. “Consequently, Fort Mott State Park is the perfect backdrop for the annual Historic Soldiers Weekend event.”
Historic Soldiers Weekend showcases how troops lived and served their country during wartime, spanning the French and Indian War to the Vietnam War, with re-enactments planned and encampments on display. Re-enactors representing both sides of military conflicts will represent Revolutionary War loyalists and Redcoats, Civil War confederate units and World War II German Infantry units. In addition to U.S. troops, re-enactors also will portray a Roman Centurion, and British soldiers from the Egyptian and Sudan campaigns of 1882-1885.
Numerous other events and family friendly activities are planned.
Visitors may have their picture taken when they climb into the cockpit of a P-80 fighter jet; the Fort Delaware Coronet Band, Sea Dogs, and SPAM Time will provide musical entertainment; there will be female interpretations of World War I-era Navy Yeomanettes; and retired master technicians will use inactive ordnance to demonstrate proper explosives disposal.
At dark on September 23, a 1942 Sperry 60-inch Searchlight will be activated, weather permitting. The searchlight, used to locate and identify aircraft and ships, emits an 8 million candlepower beam to illuminate objects up to 5 miles away. After the searchlight demonstration, there will be a free screening of the movie “Captain America: The First Avenger.”
Established in the 1890s, Fort Mott was built to fortify the defenses of the Delaware River. The fort consisted of five gun batteries ranging in size from 3-inch rapid fire guns to massive 12-inch rifles that could fire 1,000-pound projectiles at least 9 miles down the river.
An Army base until 1944, today Fort Mott is open year round. The property offers recreational opportunities for visitors and has historic structures and fortifications on its grounds. Opportunities for picnicking and walking abound along the park’s shoreline. There also is a museum and welcome center that provide local and site-specific displays. Historic Soldiers Weekend will be the last weekend for the seasonal passenger ferry that offers service to Fort Delaware on Pea Patch Island.
For a Historic Soldiers Weekend event itinerary, visit: www.soldiersweekend.com
For event updates, follow like the official Fort Mott State Park Facebook page: www.facebook.com/FortMott/
For more information about Fort Mott State Park, visit www.nj.gov/dep/parksandforests/parks/fortmott.html
To learn more about the 9th Division WWII Historic Preservation Society, visit: www.9thdivision.com/briefing.htm or view their Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/9thdivisionwwiihps/
Like the New Jersey State Park, Forests and Historic Sites page on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/NewJerseyStateParks