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Sarasota Military Relics Show brings history to life

Dozens of antiques dating back to the Revolutionary War to Desert Storm were on sale so...
Dozens of antiques dating back to the Revolutionary War to Desert Storm were on sale so residents could take a piece of history home with them.(Shane Battis)
Published: Nov. 28, 2021 at 2:35 PM EST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - History buffs in Sarasota had a chance to take home a piece of history this weekend.

For the fourth year in a row, collectors brought out some priceless antiques at the Military Relics Show. “We have any military relic from Revolutionary War all the way through Desert Storm,” Jerry Mathis, one of the show’s organizers, said.

It was an impressive display with dozens of photos, medals, boots, weapons and other mementos of wars past lining the display tables.

Many items at the show are tough to find nowadays. Items, like the airfield phone Daniel Ozsvath brought to the show. The leather-bound devices were the cell phones of World War I. During the war, soldiers could communicate up to 27 miles away.

The devices are immortalized thanks to pop culture, including popular television shows. “If you watched the show “M*A*S*H,” this is the phone they always use in the colonel’s office and Radar’s office,” Ozsvath said.

Some believe the show stopper in Sarasota was the 1945 Willys-Overland Jeep. The Jeeps were used for reconnaissance missions starting back in World War II.

Dale Aylward picked up his in the 1980s. He brought it to the show for people to snap a picture, but it’s not for sale. “It’s my baby,” he said with a laugh. “I don’t want to sell it.”

For sale or not, Ken Skel, who’s one of the show’s organizers, believes its important for younger generations to take a close look at these pieces of history. He pointed out that many of the veterans who fought these in wars are gone now, so the relics and our history books are the only things left as reminders of our past.

“These items are going to live on and tell the story for them moving forward,” Skel said.

The organizers hope to keep this continue the show, with another planned next November.

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