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Learning History from Those Who Were There

August 27, 2014

WWII_KenKunzeSophomore students at the Weidner School of Inquire at Plymouth High School are hearing real life stories of WWII from local veterans.

WWII_ArtWoolingtonA history and English project in collaboration with the Marshall County Museum will end with videotaped interviews of the real life stories of the men and women from Marshall County who served in the various branches of the military during WWII.

WWII_EdPoulanThe 10th grade students created a list of questions for veterans who volunteered to be interviewed and videotaped. More than three dozen have offered to reminisce about their personal experiences. The interviews vary in length from about 15 minutes to right at 60 minutes. Following the interviews the students will then use their creative talents and edit the videos with the finished products being presented to the Marshall County Museum to be used as part of a new permanent exhibit enhancing the artifacts and memorabilia that is already part of the museum’s Military Room.

WWII_ScrapbookLinda Rippy, Executive Director of the Marshall County Museum said they had hopes of interviewing 10 veterans and were astounded when more than three dozen veterans offered. The museum brought in a few artifacts including some scrap books with newspaper clippings of the young men who were heading into the military. The students were excited to find the clippings of some of the veterans they were going to be interviewing. Rippy also said they will be submitting the project to the state for a bicentennial projects….noting that no other similar project has been done.

WWII_ladyGrant Masson, the Global Perspectives Facilitator said, “The kids have not looked at this as a project but as something they are doing for the community. They understand that they are recording a piece of history for eternity.”

WWII_LesterReadFor some of the students it was an emotional experience they weren’t expecting. When giving their own personal experiences some of the veterans were brought to tears as those old memories were conjured up again. Some of the vets brought momentous they had from the war including photos, uniforms, maps, uniforms and metals.

WWII_Guy The final project will be submitted to the State of Indiana for submission into the Library of Congress’ Veterans Project.

WWII_lady2The WSOI students and Museum staff are hoping to hold an open house later this fall for the new exhibit and will invite the veterans who have participated to attend as well as the students who worked on the project and the community. This will give visitors to the Marshall County Museum the opportunity to hear “real stories” from “real people” of our communities who served in WWII.