For the last five years, National History Day (NHD) has carefully selected 15 teachers and their students from a pool of applicants to travel to the Normandy region of France as part of the Normandy: Sacrifice for Freedom Albert H. Small Student and Teacher Institute. This institute is an in-depth study of World War II and the Normandy invasion. This journey is unlike any other, because students select a single service member from their town, county, or state who died during the Normandy campaign and are tasked with researching their heroes’ lives and the sacrifices they personally made for our freedoms. This personalized experience takes students from the early lives of WWII heroes to their last days. The research process introduces students and their teachers to the individuals who bravely fought to guarantee future generations the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The Normandy: Sacrifice for Freedom Albert H. Small Student and Teacher Institute culminates in a day of remembrance at the American World War II Cemetery in France, where students read eulogies to the heroes they have come to know through their research. Upon their return, students and teachers use the information to create a website in honor of their hero.
This year’s class includes students from Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Guam, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. For additional information and a complete list of students and teachers who participated, read the press release here: http://www.nhd.org/PressReleases.htm.