Telling the Fort Meade story: Documentary, book, panel discussion focus on century of service

“Fort George G. Meade: The First 100 Years” is free and available now as an ebook and can be accessed from the Fort Meade website at www.ftmeade.army.mil.

Fort Meade Public Affairs Office

Veterans Day weekend was a busy time as a number of events took place to not only recognize the service of Fort Meade’s service members and veterans, but to recognize the contributions Fort Meade has made to this region in the past century.

Anne Arundel TV held a special screening of its 30-minute documentary “100 Years of Fort George G. Meade” on Friday evening at Maryland Live! Center Stage.

The documentary, which was played to a full house in its first public showing, traces the installation’s history from its inception to today.

The film was shot and edited by Cisco Davis Jr. of Anne Arundel TV. Dave Abrams, special assistant for Broadcast and Digital Media for Anne Arundel County, is the producer of the documentary.

“Hopefully, this film will serve as a way to teach people about Fort Meade’s history for future generations,” Abrams said. “We tried to bring the past to life in a way that people can relate and reflect.”

Experts on the history of the installation — such as Barbara Taylor, Fort Meade Museum curator, and retired Col. Kenneth O. McCreedy, former Fort Meade garrison commander — are among the authorities who share their knowledge of the men and women who lived, worked and served here.

“We wanted to pay tribute to our veterans past and present,” Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh said. “This film was a great way to do it. Fort Meade is an important part of our community.”

The screening of the film was followed by a panel discussion featuring Taylor, McCreedy and columnist Kevin Leonard, a local historian who has researched a number of items of interest that took place at Fort Meade.

Leonard is also a contributor to a new book that traces Fort Meade’s century of service.

Contributors to the book, “Fort George G. Meade: The First 100 Years,” presented a panel discussion Friday at the Severn Library. The audience learned about the efforts over the past year to capture that history in a 300-page book.

“It was a challenge, but I loved every minute of it,” said Ben Rogers, Fort Meade’s Visual Information chief and the artistic director for the project. “It’s not only beautiful, it’s filled with items of interest.

“People will not only enjoy flipping through it, but they’ll learn a lot when they read it.”

The book, currently in ebook format only, is free and can be accessed from the Fort Meade website. A hardcover version will be produced by a community partner at a later date.

“We used post cards, poems, newspaper stories and lots of imagery to tell this history,” said Mary Doyle, deputy chief of public affairs at the Fort Meade Public Affairs Office who served as principal writer and editor on the project. “We asked local experts to submit essays and others to submit personal experiences about their life with Fort Meade.

“What we end up with is this amazing tapestry of life here. I think everyone will find something of interest within the pages.”

Described as “a visually engaging depiction of Fort Meade’s service to the nation,” the book also features the family histories of people who have had connections with Fort Meade over decades.

“The Scrapbook Memories section is all about personal stories,” said Sherry Kuiper, public affairs specialist at the Fort Meade Public Affairs Office, a writer and editor on the project.

“It makes these personal stories a part of the history of the installation and reminds us what an important role we all play in our own histories.”

The documentary “100 Years of Fort George G. Meade” is available on the Anne Arundel TV Youtube page.

To read and download the ebook “Fort George G. Meade: The First 100 Years” on the Fort Meade website, visit www.ftmeade.army.mil.

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