Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Chandler Student and Teacher participate in Normandy: National History Day

Congratulations to Chandler, AZ student Aryasp Nejat and teacher Stacey A. Trepanier for being selected to this tremendous program.

January, 2016 WASHINGTON, D.C.

Fifteen student and teacher teams from across the country are being given an extraordinary opportunity to tell the story of a fallen WWII hero from their respective home towns and pay their respects to this Silent Hero at the Normandy American Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach. Each team consists of one teacher and his or her student.
Teams select a Silent Hero who gave his or her life in World War II during or after
the Normandy landings of D-Day and is memorialized at the Normandy American Cemetery. Each team spends a year researching the story of this Silent Hero through
historical research such as war records, draft cards, and interviews with family members. In June 2016, the teams travel to Washington, D.C. to finish their research with help from the National Archives, historians, and college professors. While in D.C. the group tours the World War II Memorial, attends a dinner hosted by the White House
Historical Association and prepares for the voyage of a lifetime. The final leg of their journey is to Normandy, France where the group visits the D-Day beaches, walking in the footsteps of their Silent Heroes.
After visiting museums, historic sites, and churches that were used as field hospitals, the group visits the Normandy American Cemetery. There, the students deliver powerful eulogies for the Silent Heroes they have spent the year researching. Participants in the program are only responsible for the cost of travel to and from Washington, D.C. Travel to France, meals, board, and programs are all paid for by the Institute.
“Throughout their research these students and teachers become incredibly connected to their Silent Heroes,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “When they read their eulogies they are reading a eulogy for someone they know, someone whose story they are responsible for telling. It results in a powerful, and often tearful, understanding of the sacrifice the students’ Silent Heroes made in WWII.”
The Normandy Sacrifice for Freedom: Albert H. Small Student and Teacher Institute seeks to teach a new generation about the sacrifices and challenges faced during World War II.
The program is coordinated by National History Day and is funded by a generous donation from Mr. Albert H. Small, a veteran himself.
Throughout the program, teachers and students create a website about their Silent Hero. After the conclusion of their travels, teams use these websites in presentations to local community groups, schools and classes, and veterans organizations. “These digital records of the life and actions of a Silent Hero live on long after these teams return,” said Gorn. “They serve as a digital monument to the sacrifices made by the fallen.”