On Memorial Day, we at National History Day would like to recognize all of those who served in the U.S. military and gave the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms that we all enjoy. NHD is proud to honor Memorial Day in two ways. In less than a month, 15 teacher-student cooperative learning teams will head to Normandy for the Albert H. Small Normandy: Sacrifice for Freedom Student & Teacher Institute. They will honor the sacrifices of those lost and memorialized in the Normandy American Cemetery and offer eulogies for their fallen heroes at the cemetery. 2015 marks the fifth year of this program. Thanks to Mr. Small’s generosity, 75 teacher-student teams from 44 NHD affiliates have this amazing experience.
NHD has also been working with the American Battle Monuments Commission since summer 2014. In September, NHD, in partnership with the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University have been collaborating on a project to produce educational materials to re-imagine the teaching of World War II. There are 18 interdisciplinary teachers from around the world working on the project. In July they will go to Europe to follow the path of the U.S. military across Northern Europe, visiting ABMC cemeteries in Great Britain, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
Once they return, the will be developing primary-source based lessons that connect to the story of a fallen hero who is memorialized in an American cemetery in northern Europe. To learn more, go to http://abmceducation.org/ and click “keep me posted” to see the site develop. Joe Boyle from Toledo, Ohio is one of those teachers. He is telling the story of the United States Coast Guard through the eyes of Seaman First Class Edwin W. Frazier. Frazier attended Morrison R. Waite High School, where Mr. Boyle teaches. When learning that Frazier left Waite before his graduation, Mr. Boyle petitioned the district that his Coast Guard training be applied to his remaining credits.
Last week, Edwin Frazier’s nephew and wife came to Waite to accept Edwin’s diploma as part of the school’s 100th Memorial Day Assembly. The program connected students, alumni, veterans, Gold Star families, and community members.