Living History Day a chance to experience the past

| October 11, 2017 | 0 Comments

From left: Anthony Sagun, Sheldon Tyau and Colin Chang of the Hawaii Historical Arms Society participate in Living History Day 2014. Sagun and Chang are wearing Vietnam War-era military uniforms.

Karen A. Iwamoto
Staff Writer

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Living History Day returns to the Tropic Lightning Museum, here, on Saturday.

As in past years, the event promises lots of hands-on activities on the front lawn of the museum in addition to static displays and exhibits inside the museum.

Civil War re-enactors in historic period dress will stage mock battles and interact with attendees, answering questions about what life and war was like during that period.

The Hawaii Historical Arms Society members will be on hand to answer questions about their display of military memorabilia, uniforms and weapons from the World War II and Vietnam War eras.

The Celtic Pipes & Drums of Hawaii, the Lightning Jazz Project Band and the Tropic Knights Big Band & Swing Dancers will provide additional entertainment.

The family-friendly event will have a section dedicated to keiki, with face painting, obstacle courses, coloring activities and other games aimed at boosting their interest in history and learning.

Soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division will be there to participate in “Battle Rattle” – camouflage face painting and Nerf target practice.

Museum exhibits

The event is also an opportunity to view the museum’s exhibits, including a soft opening of one that is still in progress.

While most Americans understand the significance of Pearl Harbor, and many may know that the Japanese also attacked Wheeler Army Airfield on Dec. 7, 1941, fewer are familiar with the story of Lt. Albert Hegenberger and Lt. Lester Maitland, both Army aviators.

Hegenberger and Maitland were the first to fly from California to Hawaii in June 1927, landing at Wheeler Army Airfield. Their success came on the heels of the Navy’s failed attempt to make the over 2,000-mile flight in 1925.

Their history-making flight is part of a new exhibit focused on Wheeler Army Airfield. A portion is dedicated to the various first flights that came through the airfield.

Living History Day guests will also get the chance to preview the museum’s latest exhibit, still in progress, detailing the 25th Infantry Division’s contributions to the Global War on Terror. Museum officials have gathered material to tell the story of the 25th ID after the Vietnam War.


By hosting the Living History Day event, the Tropic Lightning Museum aims to give guests a more immersive experience of history, something to add dimension to what can be read in textbooks or heard in lectures.

“History can inspire and touch anyone’s life. There is something for everyone,” said Kathleen Frazier, the museum’s curator. “We can be inspired by the lives of pioneering aviators that flew in and out of Wheeler Airfield, the Medal of Honor recipients who gave the ultimate sacrifice for others, or the responses of people past who hoped to improve the lives of others.

“It can help us learn, grow, understand, and mold our future,” she added. “It can tell us what kind of person we aspire to become. I hope people take away from the event that history is not just about facts, but it’s about people.”

Schedule of Events

10 a.m. – Opening ceremony

10:15 a.m. – The Celtic Pipes & Drums of Hawaii (bagpipers)

10:45 a.m. – K9 Demonstration

11:15 a.m. – Tropic Knights Big Band & Swing Dance

Noon – Civil War Re-enactment

1:15 p.m. – K9 Demonstration

1:45 p.m. – Lightning Jazz Project Band

2:30 p.m. – Civil War Re-enactment

The Tropic Lightning Museum is located at Bldg. 361, Waianae Avenue, Schofield Barracks. For more information call 655-0438.



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Category: Community, Education

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