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Army Reserve general joins community for historic re-enactment

By Staff Sgt. Shawn Morris | 99th Readiness Division | Dec. 12, 2017

WASHINGTON CROSSING HISTORIC PARK, Pa. — The full dress rehearsal for the 65th annual re-enactment of Gen. George Washington’s Delaware River crossing was held Dec. 10 despite low water levels that kept the re-enactors’ boats grounded.

Serving as narrator for the event was Maj. Gen. Troy D. Kok, commanding general of the Army Reserve’s 99th Readiness Division, headquartered at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.

“The men and women who made this crossing believed in an idea that was forged in this great Revolution,” Kok said. “It is an idea that still stands today, and is the reason why I’m in uniform today – to protect our Constitution, our way of life, our freedoms and what we stand for as the United States of America.”

The event was hosted by the Washington Crossing Foundation and featured hundreds of volunteers from the Washington Crossing Re-enactors Society who portrayed Gen. Washington and his troops as well as everyday 18th century citizens participating in colonial-era activities and demonstrations throughout the park’s historic village.

One of the re-enactors was Army Reserve Ambassador Larry Rubini, Army Reserve ambassador for Pennsylvania.

“There are two opportunities to view the re-enactment – at this dress rehearsal and the annual Christmas Day crossing,” Rubini explained. “During the dress rehearsal, troops typically row across the river in uniform just as they do during the annual Christmas Day crossing. It’s a great way to see the re-enactment if you can’t make it on Christmas Day.”

Washington’s nighttime river crossing on Christmas Eve in 1776 led to success at the Battle of Trenton on Christmas Day and is often credited with sustaining the war effort after several routs in New York and a colonial retreat across New Jersey.

“This battle changed the war and the Revolution; it marked the first major victory for Gen. George Washington and changed the course of battle,” Kok said.

For more information about the Christmas Day re-enactment, visit http://www.washingtoncrossingpark.org/event/christmas-crossing-2017/.