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World War One Canteen
The Ruth Enlow Library and Our Town Theatre Co-host a WWI Canteen

The Ruth Enlow Library of Garrett County and Our Town Theatre will co-host a World War I Canteen to honor Garrett County’s veterans on Saturday, November 11, from 2 – 4 p.m. at the theatre. As 2017 is the 100th anniversary of the United States entering WWI, the event will feature keynote speaker Matt Borders on the topic of “The First Air War: The Men and Flying Machines of World War One.” Borders is an historian and ranger at Monocacy National Battlefield in Frederick, Maryland who has researched WWI extensively and will invite questions after his audiovisual presentation. Those wishing to attend should contact Our Town Theatre at www.ourtowntheatre.org or call 301-334-5640 and leave a message. This event is free and includes refreshments.

The canteen will begin with a Presentation of the Colors by the American Legion’s Color Guard, followed by military service songs to honor each branch of the armed forces. Venessa Stacy will direct the reading of letters sent home by Garrett County soldiers serving in World War I. Jill Craig, Digitization Librarian at Western Maryland Regional Library and Coordinator of the Western Maryland Historical Library (WHILBR), will give a brief overview of WHILBR’s digital collections and how to access them. The event will conclude with period songs played by Judy Bertsch.

Following the program, audience members will have an opportunity to navigate the WHILBR website using a computer set up at OTT, and to learn how primary sources such as the letters written by Garrett County soldiers to their families back home can be accessed.

Keynote speaker Borders attained his BA in US History and a double cognate in Museum Studies and Historic Preservation in 2004 from Michigan State University, followed by a MS in Historic Preservation with a focus in Battlefield Interpretation from Eastern Michigan University. While in school, he worked first an intern and then a seasonal ranger for the National Park Service at Antietam National Battlefield.

Following graduation and a year of teaching at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Borders worked as an historian for the National Park Service's American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP), personally surveying over 100 different American Civil War battlefields in the deep south and western United States, as well as performing duties related to the program's preservation grants, until 2013. Over this period, he also became involved with the Frederick County Historical Society as one of the developers of the Frederick City Civil War Walking Tours, as a member and later a board member of the Frederick County Civil War Round Table, and as a volunteer and Certified Battlefield Guide for Antietam National Battlefield.

This event is funded in part by Western Maryland Regional Library, the regional resource center for the public libraries of Allegany, Garrett, and Washington Counties.

Our Town Theatre is funded in part by grants from the Garrett County Arts Council and the Maryland State Arts Council.
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