WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – It’s War Week in Wilmington at the historic USO / Community Arts Center in Hannah Block, kicking off a series of events with a living history of WWII World Cup and a book signing today.
The Hannah Block Historic USO / Community Arts Center hosts its Wartime Wilmington Week with events commemorating 80 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor and the 80th anniversary of the Hannah Block Historic USO / Community Arts Center.
âIt’s like a whole experience, where people can go in and imagine themselves in the 1940s during WWII, and really get a feel for what it was like. At the height of the war in 1943, 60,000 soldiers a month passed through this building, âsaid Susan Habas, executive director of the Thalian Association Community Theater.
The first Wartime Wilmington Week event featured a WWII living history program with historical reenactments depicting Camp Davis and Fort Fisher, and historical artifacts on display including a WWII jeep, gear , uniforms and weapons.
âIt’s been fascinating and we’ve had people of all ages here today, younger, older. I think people really enjoy the show. I think it’s just amazing, it kind of illustrates the life of a soldier, the importance of the military camp at Camp Davis, the training they went through, âsaid Cliff Tyndall, re-enactor and consultant. History of Camp Davis on WWII.
Wilbur Jones, leader of a 12-and-a-half-year project that helped Wilmington achieve its title as America’s first World War II heritage city, was at the event signing his Wilmington books in times of war, including âA Sentimental Journeyâ and âThe Day I Lost President Fordâ. Jones said that as a defender of history he is happy to see people take advantage of events that showcase the city’s connection to WWII.
âIt makes me feel good, because that’s what I’m trying to do. Not only preserve the story, but make people understand it, and they say ‘hey, I didn’t know that about Wilmington’. I didn’t know we built ships here during the war, I didn’t know we had Camp Davis and all the soldiers in town, âand that’s the most rewarding thing. To see how people like it, âsaid Wilbur Jones, author and advocate of the story.
The Hannah Block Historic USO / Community Arts Center will host a Pearl Harbor commemoration and recognition of the World War II heritage city on Tuesday, December 7. Wilmington wartime week will be held until December 12.