Smearing mud upon their faces for a semblance of authenticity, JROTC students from Ridgeland, LaFayette and Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe high schools participated Saturday in a re-enactment of a World War II death march in Rossville.
A few cadets played German officers shouting commands at the POW re-enactors.
Shut up! Talk and I will shoot you myself! barked a German commander which led the march re-enactment, which started in a field adjacent to the old Rossville Middle School and ended in the Peerless Mill parking lot close to the Veterans of All Wars museum.
Local veteran Robert H. Honeycutt started the museum nearly a year ago and was one of the POWs to survive the death march. His experience was 86 days long, and covered more than 800 miles.
The cadets ran laps and maintained looks of exhaustion and nausea. During the march, two POW re-enactors tried to escape, and one of the escapees was shot in the back and left for dead.
The crowd of nearly 100 gazed upon the spectacle as the march turned the corner nearing the grandstand where several World War II veterans, including Honeycutt, stood to watch the scene play out.
Upon arriving at their destination, the POWs in the re-enactment were liberated by British troops.
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