Korean War Diorama
Korean War Diorama

FORT JENNINGS — Four traveling memorials are coming to Fort Jennings for this year’s Fort Fest, Aug. 16-18. This will be the first time in history that all these displays will be exhibited at the same event.

“We’ll all watch as the community is transformed into a scaled version of Washington, D.C.,” said Dr. Wesley Klir, co-chair of the Fort Fest Committee.

The memorials include a half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the traveling Korean Memorial, the Traveling World War II Memorial and the replica tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The displays are part of the continued mission of the Fort Fest committee to pay tribute to the military in different ways beginning with the War of 1812.

“We want our festival to be a stimulating and educational experience,” said committee member Amy Recker.

She, like Dr. Klir, has a passion to pay tribute to everyone who has served in the military.

“If you come to this event and experience it, you will go away with a different feeling,” Recker added.

Both Dr. Klir and Recker commended the numerous sponsors who contribute to make this event possible.

“This is why we are able to bring so many exhibits to the community,” Dr. Klir said.

He said the Fort Fest has continued to grow since they had a three-day event in 2012 to celebrate the communities’ Bicentennial and the anniversary of the War of 1812. Over 200 years ago, Fort Jennings was a vital military outpost during the War of 1812.

In 2012, Fort Jennings had another first during their festival. They were honored by the Purple Heart Association as the very first Purple Heart Village in history in all of America.

The Moving Wall, a half-sized replica of the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C, has been traveling the United States for 35 years.

The Traveling Korean Memorial includes 19 soldiers walking through a Korean Rice paddy and commemorates the sacrifices of the 5.8 million American who served in the U.S. armed services during the three-year period of the Korean War.

The Traveling World War II Memorial is a Wall of Stars, the Atlantic and Pacific Pavilions and 56 Pillars. The wall includes quotes from President Roosevelt and General MacArthur spanning three granite slabs.

The Replica of the Tomb of the unknown Soldier was built by Vantage students in conjunction with the DAV of Van Wert.

Local veterans and area volunteers will provide a 24/7 vigil for the displays in the park.

In addition to these exhibits, The Chained Eagles of Ohio will bring their Ohio Vietnam and POW-MIA Wall Memorial with names of servicemen from Ohio who served in Vietnam and are still listed as POW-MIA.

Jerry Linquist is bringing his full collection of military diorama and artifact exhibit. This will be displayed in the Fort Jennings Fire Department. This exhibit is an educational hands-on display that includes diorama of various battles, including D-Day and uniforms that visitors can touch and experience.

Fort Jennings Memorial Hall will again host the area’s largest military museum featuring loaned artifacts from local veterans and families. This temporary display the “Hometown Heroes Exhibit” is redesigned annually exists only for the weekend of Fort Fest.

The festival will continue to offer an 1812 encampment with reenactors from Colonel Williams 2nd Regiment and a camp 1812 experience for students from kindergarten through sixth grade.

On Saturday, Aug. 17, there will be a 1 p.m. ceremony dedicated in remembrance of soldiers at Fort Jennings during the War of 1812 to the present.

A Gold Star Family Ceremony is planned to follow at 2 p.m. near the Vietnam Moving Wall. This ceremony will recognize the sacrifices of Putnam County families who lost loved ones during the Korean, Vietnam, Gulf and Iraqi Freedom Wars (Gold Star Families)

Three day-event will begin with the arrival of the American Huey 369 and Honor Run Biker escort into town. All of exhibits are free and open to the public.

Here is the schedule of events:

Friday, Aug. 16

24/7 The Moving Wall-Vietnam Wall Display

24/7 Traveling Korean Memorial Display

24/7 Traveling WWII Memorial Display

24/7 Putnam County Field of Heroes Display

12 – 4 p.m. American Huey Public Flights

4 – 10 p.m. Hometown Heroes Exhibit

4 – 10 p.m. Master Modeler Exhibit

4:30 p.m. Legion Sirloin Steak Dinner

5 p.m. Escort Arrival into Fort Jennings

5 – 9 p.m. War of 1812 Encampment

5 – 10 p.m. Wolfhounds Vietnam Display

5 – 10 p.m. Ohio POW/MIA Display

5 – 10 p.m. Tomb of Unknown Soldier Display

5-7 p.m. Live Entertainment, Blind Ambition

5-9 p.m. Car Show/Cruise In - ELVIS

5-9 p.m. Barrels and Brews Wine Tasting/Craft Beer

5-9pm Kids Fun Zone Bounce Houses

6:30 p.m. Cold War Demonstrations

7:30 p.m. 1812 Tavern Demonstration

8:30 p.m. War of 1812 Twilight Reenactment

8:45 p.m. Dunkin’s Diamonds Giveaway Drawing

9 p.m. FJ Park Give-Away $3000 Grand Prize

9 p.m. Live Entertainment – Truck Stop Manners

Saturday, Aug. 17

24/7 The Moving Wall-Vietnam Wall Display

24/7 Traveling Korean Memorial Display

24/7 Traveling WWII Memorial Display

24/7 Putnam County Field of Heroes Display

9 a.m. Colors & 1812 Opening Ceremony

9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Camp 1812 - Register by 8:30 a.m.

9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Military Vehicle Display

9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Ohio MIA/POW Display

9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Hometown Heroes Exhibit

9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Master Modeler Exhibit

9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Tomb of Unknown Soldier

9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Fort Fest FIT Dash-Register 9 a.m.

10 a.m. – 5 p.m. American Huey Public Flights

10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wolfhounds Vietnam Display

11:30 a.m. Cold War Weapons & Uniform Demo

12 p.m. – 3 p.m. Poker Run - Register 11a.m.

12 p.m. – 4 p.m. 30 Gun Raffle

1 – 9 p.m. Kid’s Fun Zone Bounce Houses

1 p.m. Unknown Soldier Tribute Ceremony

2pm Gold Star Family Recognition Ceremony

3 – 6 p.m. Live Entertainment – Exploit

4 – 4:30 p.m. 1812 Skirmish Reenactment

4 p.m. 1812 Tavern - Brewing Demonstration

6 – 8 p.m. Horse Drawn History Tours

7 – 11 p.m. Lions Club Famous Duck Races

8 – 11 p.m. Live Music, Midwest Dueling Pianos

Sunday, Aug. 18

24/7 The Moving Wall-Vietnam Wall Display

24/7 Traveling Korean Memorial Display

24/7 Traveling WWII Memorial Display

24/7 Putnam County Field of Heroes Display

8:45 a.m. Morning Colors & 1812 Ceremony

9 a.m. – 1 p.m. War of 1812 Encampment

9:30 a.m. Veterans Mass (at church)

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. American Huey Public Flights

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Wolfhounds Vietnam Display

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Ohio MIA/POW Display

10:30 a.m. 1812 Camp Sunday Service

10:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Hometown Heroes Exhibit

10:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Master Modeler Exhibit

10:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Traveling Tomb of Unknown Soldier

11 a.m. Native Song & Story Program

11:30 p.m. Tomahawk & Knife Demonstration

1 p.m. Live Entertainment, The 338th Army Band