Veterans’ Day #96: Keeping the Old Story New


Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 3.06.42 PMIt’s not just about old guys! History doesn’t happen in books. Bring it to life this year for your students as we approach the 96th anniversary of Armistice Day, the celebration of the close of “The War to End All Wars.”  In this webinar for the Lessons of Personal Bravery and Self-Sacrifice community, Medal of Honor Character Development Trainer, Heather Kensill shared classroom suggestions to keep this part of our history alive, real, and pertinent for contemporary students.  Many students think that “veteran” is synonymous with “old.” They may also think that “Medal of Honor” is only a video game. But war is not a game, and most soldiers today and historically are young, not much older than our high school students. Heather shared ways to use interviews with Medal of Honor recipients from the War on Terror and previous conflicts to stress the importance of a national recognition of veterans. Our veterans are not just the old men with the canes, or the retired folks playing golf, but perhaps the teenager next door, who may be missing a leg or an eye.

This webinar aimed to inspire teachers to show students that history is happening even now, not just in the military but in civilian life, that at any time they may be called upon to be a part of it, and that they have in themselves the ability to answer the call.​ Heather shared ways teachers can help students better understand the scope of the word “veteran,” how to make students aware of the kinds of sacrifices all veterans make, and how to help students identify veterans in their own communities and acknowledge them appropriately.

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Lessons of Personal Bravery and Self-Sacrifice is a professional learning community, hosted by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation that highlights a free character education program that includes lesson plans, video vignettes, webinars and primary source documents for secondary school teachers to use in the classroom as examples of courage, integrity, and good citizenship.  The program is built on the premise that all people have within them the capacity for extraordinary bravery and selfless service.  This program is sponsored by Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation.

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