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Father's Day remembrances of battlefield sacrifice - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Father's Day remembrances of battlefield sacrifice

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MONTPELIER, Vt. - The Vermont Civil War Hemlocks are bringing history to life this weekend at the Morse Farm in Montpelier.  And for one participant, it is also an opportunity to honor his father this Father's Day.

A graphic designer by day, a soldier in his free time -- Private John Sargent has spent six years in the Vermont Hemlocks, bringing the Civil War back to life. "We attempt to bring this history alive, we're able to make it more real for people who don't have the understanding of what it must have been like," Sargent said.

"This here is hands-on history," said Doug Grout, a First Sargent in the Hemlocks.

Sargent is honoring his dad's service this Father's Day. The military history runs deep in this Vermont family. "My father was in the navy in World War II and my brother served during the Vietnam Era as did I," Sargent said.

And as for his great grandfather...  "He received the Medal of Honor for being the first to plant the colors on the Confederate works," Sargent said.  

The Hemlocks live in tents, fire cannons and re-enact Civil War formations. They also give kids an opportunity to have an authentic learning experience. "As you go through American history, I think it's important that people remember about the dedication and the sacrifices that these people had to commit to," Sargent said.

And so Sargent remembers his own family's sacrifices. What the Hemlocks spend three days doing, some soldiers did for years. "Why am I here? And I had to think about one of my great, great grandfathers who went through the same thing. The only difference was he wasn't going home in three days. I was," Sargent said.  

Today, 150 years after the Civil War, the Hemlocks are keeping the ring of those cannons alive.

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