Huron Perth Boomers – Fall 2019 – Battlefield Tours
Original Article Published: Huron Perth Boomer Fall 2019
For 31 years I taught high school history in the classrooms of Kent County, and for over three years after retirement, at Canadian College Italy. As you would expect, the courses I taught and the students’ ages varied, but whether the subject was Canadian, American or European history, the Great Wars of the 20th Century inevitably played an important part.
Coming of age in the turbulent 1960s, starting my teaching career in the early-70s, and never having to sacrifice precious years of my youth to serve in wartime, I was always conscious of how lucky I was. And the spectre of the Vietnam War tearing at the fabric of society in the United States made this feeling even more immediate.
So when the subject turned to war, I was always concerned to do the very best I could to help the students understand and appreciate the sacrifices of those young men, so many years ago. We used simulation exercises, read diaries and letters, invited veterans into the classroom to tell their stories, watched grainy, black and white newsreels, and spent countless hours organizing meaningful Remembrance Day programs for the school. I like to think a creditable job was done.
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