War is a beast. The broad range of its toll on humanity is nearly indescribable. Whether the cause is righteous or wretched, long-lasting residual effects sprout up, covered in soot and blood, through the ashes of each conflict. Countries are formed, boundaries are penciled in, lives are lost, and beliefs are hardened in the fiery kiln of battle. There is arguably no greater force for social change in our world. Because of this immense social influence that wide-scale conflict’s carry with them, the living become fascinated by them. Out of this fascination, a natural inclination to understand is born. And the only way to understand is to explore, study and experience.
For all those seeking a better understanding of the subject, or for those trying to pass on the knowledge to the next generation, the award-winning Armed Forces History Museum, in Largo, is putting on their “Ride Through History” event this Saturday and Aug. 23, in which patrons will be given the opportunity to explore 50,000 square feet of interactive military history.
There will be a Touch-A-Truck exhibit, offering children and adults the chance to see, touch and experience some of the museum’s premium military vehicles. There will also be a chance, for all those interested, to ride in two of the museums functioning vehicles: the World War II era M8 Greyhound and the Vietnam-era Gama Goat.
1st Infantry Division, affectionately known as “The Big Red One,” due to the division’s big red number one on their shoulder patch, World War II re-enactors will also be on hand to give presentations, firearm education, demonstrations and to answer any questions.
The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Children under the age of 3 get in free, kids ages 4-12 cost $5 and adult admission is $10. Free hot dogs will be made available and there will be a 10 percent discount off store purchases.
For more information on the event, contact the Armed Forces History Museum, at 727-539-8371, or visit their website: armedforcesmuseum.com.