Monday, August 03, 2015

HISTORY - Retrospect, Normandy

"Teachers and students retrace the lives of those who died at Normandy" PBS NewsHour 7/27/2015


SUMMARY:  To make the history of World War II more vivid and meaningful, teams of students and teachers are tracing the footsteps of those who served and died during the invasion of Normandy.  Participants in National History Day's Normandy:  Sacrifice for Freedom Albert H. Small Student & Teacher Institute spend months doing intensive research on a single "silent hero," before offering a personalized graveside eulogy.  The NewsHour's April Brown reports.

Editor’s Note:  The full name of the National History Day program is Normandy: Sacrifice for Freedom Albert H. Small Student & Teacher Institute.

APRIL BROWN (NewsHour):  It has been more than 70-years since Broadway Valentine Sims, Eugene Mlot, and Francisco Blas died during the invasion of Normandy, the turning point in the allied campaign to liberate Europe from Nazi Germany in World War II.

But their sacrifice and that of 13 other servicemen is being remembered and honored in graveside eulogies at the American cemetery perched above Omaha Beach in Northern France.

STUDENT:  Technician 5th Class Broadway Valentine Sims was born in 1916 in the remote town of Elizabethton, Tennessee.

STUDENT:  Eugene G. Mlot was an orderly worker, shipping clerk and electrician with four years of high school under his belt when he joined the Army Air Force in 1942.

STUDENT:  Francisco Blas embodied the characteristics of bravery, courage and unwavering loyalty as he faced segregation, uncertainty and even death itself.

APRIL BROWN:  This is an important part of National History Day’s Normandy Institute.

VANESSA TAYLOR, Normandy Institute Scholar:  I will never sacrifice of Henry and Louie made for their country and the sacrifice they made for me.

CATHY GORN, Executive Director, National History Day:  The program started because of a concern that today’s young people don’t really understand what sacrifice is all about, sacrifice and freedom and how those two fit together.

"Disconnected by war, family reunites through student history project" PBS NewsHour 7/29/2015


SUMMARY:  Decades after losing touch, family members from two different continents were reunited at the American Cemetery in Normandy, France, to honor a World War II soldier who was killed in action just after the D-Day invasion.  The NewsHour’s April Brown reports on the educational program that brought them together.

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