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Devens at the dawn of WWI

A restored Model 1917 Ford ambulance as used by the 101st Machine Gun Battalion. Mark Wentland/26th Yankee Division WWI Living History Group.

In 1917, Camp Devens was carved out of four quiet towns northwest of Boston as a training ground for thousands of American soldiers before they went off to fight in Europe.

To mark that centennial — and the United States’ entry into The Great War — the Fort Devens Museum will host a World War I Living History Weekend on Saturday and Sunday at the quadrangle behind 94 Jackson Road, Devens.

Uniformed reenactors will show off their gear and offer period military demonstrations. Visitors can also explore four encampments to gain an overall sense of what was once called The War to End All Wars. Take your pick between the Allied Powers, Central Powers, Red Cross/Salvation Army, and Civilians.


You can also get a first-hand look at equipment and vehicles such as an FWD military truck, two Model T ambulances, artillery, and civilian Model T’s. And don’t be surprised if you spot President Woodrow Wilson reviewing the troops.

The WWI 26th Yankee Division Living History Group in action. 26th YD WWI LHG.

The hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Suggested donation is $5 per individual or $10 per family. The museum will also be open with displays from World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam era. For more information, go to www.fortdevensmuseum.org.

Say you aren’t a World War I buff at all. What if what you’d really like to do this weekend is embrace humanity?

There is just the event happening on Saturday, when a “Uniting People for Peace Festival” takes place on the Plymouth waterfront. From from 1:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Pilgrim Memorial State Park, nine singer-songwriters will perform on the town bandstand in hopes of emphasizing what people have in common rather than how they differ. Festival-goers can bring lawn chairs or sit on the grass — and the festival is free. For more details, visit www.upforpeace.com.


Sharen Robertson founded Uniting People for Peace as a nonprofit to counterract the decline in civility she has noticed throughout society. She said the group has no political, religious, cultural, or racial affiliation, and is simply designed “to bring people together.”

Leslie Anderson can be reached at leslie.anderson@globe.com.