Normandy Institute Begins

It has been a busy week at National History Day (NHD)! On Thursday, we wrapped up the National Contest with our awards ceremony, and on Friday, our Normandy Institute teams started to arrive at the George Washington University Campus.  

The Albert H. Small Normandy: Sacrifice for Freedom Student & Teacher Institute is a unique program that immerses 15 student-teacher teams from across the U.S. and around the world in the history of World War II and the D-Day Invasion. The teams are selected through a competitive application process in the fall. From January to June, teams read a series of book and engage in weekly online discussions on the material. The teams then travel to Washington, DC to kick-off the two week institute. 

Last night our teams attended an opening dinner at the City View Room at GW’s Foggy Bottom campus.  They were able to meet Mr. Small, as well as Mortimer Caplin, a D-Day veteran who served as a beach master at Omaha Beach.

The teams will be attending lectures in Washington, as well as a series of special events in the city.  Teams will be viewing artifacts at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, researching at the National Archives, laying a wreath at the National World War II Memorial, and attending a reception at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. On Thursday, the students and their teachers will fly to France and experience Normandy in the place where it happened.

A key component to the Institute is the Silent Heroes program.  Each student has chosen a soldier, sailor, airman, Marine, or Coastguardsman from their home state who died and is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery above Omaha Beach. On the last day, students will visit the cemetery and give eulogies for each of their heroes at their graves.

Stay posted to the Voice of NHD – at the end of each day we will have student guest bloggers who will tell you about the Institute and we’ll post pictures of their adventures here.

Here we go….

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