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National World War II Museum Commemorates
Veterans Day with a Meeting of Generations
as Fifth graders interview WWII vets in an
encounter with 'Living History'
NEW ORLEANS, Nov.
11, 2010 /PRNewswire/
-- As part of Veterans
at The National World War II Museum today,
local schoolchildren sat down with World War
II vets to ask questions and listen to
stories in the shadow of the Museum's C-47.
Twelve-year old Stefan
a self-professed World War II fanatic, was
one of those students.
When asked about the experience, his
reaction was amazingly mature: "Soon
students like me won't have the chance to
speak with WWII veterans. It's a different
perspective than anything I've read in
Eyes wide with wonder, Suazo and more than
70 other fifth graders from Metairie Academy
in the New
to World War II veterans relay their stories
of aerial dogfights, naval battles and
joyous family reunions during the war that
changed the world.
Students also had the opportunity to meet
real-life Rosie the Riveters, a Holocaust
survivor, one of the first female Marines
and some of the women who did their part for
victory on the Home Front.
The meeting was part of the Museum's new
initiative "Talking to Living History" that
introduces the country's newest generations
to members of its "greatest" one. It's a
concerted effort by the New
institution to encourage youngsters to
interact with WWII veterans, educating and
enlightening a generation who may think WWII
is only a series of encyclopedia entries on
an iPad or fuzzy black and white news clips
"Families and school groups need to hear
wartime stories from those who performed
them," says Dr. Gordon "Nick" Mueller,
president and CEO of the Museum. "These
citizen soldiers witnessed one of history's
most momentous events, and they have much to
convey about courage, teamwork, service, and
sacrifice, especially to young Americans.
And there's not much time left to listen."
The sense of urgency is due to a grim
calendar. Americans who actively
participated in World War II are now in
their 80s and 90s. War veterans are dying at
the rate of 797 a day, according to the U.S.
Department of Veterans Affairs. By the end
of 2010, less than 2 million World War II
veterans will remain of the 16 million who
"Not all veterans want to talk about their
experiences," says the Museum's education
"but many do." Tips to help teachers and
families locate WWII veterans are available
at the Museum website: www.nationalww2museum.org.
and fought at Normandy as part of the 82nd
Airborne and, as a Museum volunteer, shares
his stories daily with visitors. "There are
a lot of things in this Museum, but it's not
a Museum about things. It's about the people
and the stories of what we saw and did. It's
important to share those stories with future
generations so they can learn from them and
continue to pass them on after we are gone."