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From the U.S. Revolution to the 20th Century: Fort Taber-Fort Rodman Takes Us Back in Time

By Marina I. Jokic

The Fort Taber-Fort Rodman Historical Association is committed to preserving the military history of the fort and its surroundings. Fort Rodman doesn't only offer historical information; it is an important memorial dedicated to the legacy of the area's veterans and their service to the nation. Moreover, the association aims to demonstrate how the fort is characteristic of the development of coastal fortifications from the time of the American Revolution to the mid-20th century.

In an interview, Robert Bromley, vice president and curator, tells us that the "Association and Military Museum fill a niche in the Greater New Bedford community by highlighting and honoring all of our area's past and present members of the Armed Forces." Bromley also emphasizes that "the fort brings a sense of a living memorial to those who have passed on." The military museum, which is located adjacent to the fort, features a collection of images and exhibits dating from the Revolutionary War through to contemporary conflicts. One example is a statue made by a German POW who was held at Camp Edwards on Cape Cod. Others include recovered artifacts from nearby waters, biographies of every local serviceman killed in Vietnam, uniforms, and personal items from veterans. Many of the museum's volunteers are retired military personnel, who provide the public with an insider's perspective to many of the most significant military conflicts in history.

Bromley explains that there are multiple educational programs and events that hopefully give the public an opportunity to gain a three dimensional view of history: "We conduct numerous living history programs each year, ranging from the Colonial Period through to WWII. It helps visitors better understand what they will view in the museum and most often to better understand what a family member or friend may have experienced." The fort and museum give visitors an informed and interesting view into the nation's military history and role in shaping conflicts, New Bedford's role in particular, but more importantly, the museum offers a personal experience whereby families can trace their roots to the many soldiers who have served this country. Bromley points out that coming to the museum "is often described as walking through a family album or scrapbook." The museum and fort serve the important purpose of keeping the memory of those servicemen alive and allowing their families, as well as general visitors, to connect with their past.

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About The Author

Marina Jokic holds a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College in Russian and East...

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