D-Day History Not Well Known To Students
D-Day History Not Well Known To Students
June 6, 2019 will mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the largest seaborne operation in military history. The Allied military operation on the beaches of Normandy, France was the event that turned the tide in the war against Nazi oppression. We live in a world free of the Nazi genocide because of the massive operation and should never forget the brave souls who lost their lives that day. Sadly, many students of the world will never forget because they never knew, in the first place.
In advance of this important anniversary, the APNews.com has a featured article titled, “D-Day’s 75th anniversary renews interest in some classrooms”. Although the article strikes a semi-hopeful note, for me, it brought even more clarity to the serious problems in public education. These are the opening paragraphs of the article:
Kasey Turcol has just 75 minutes to explain to her high school students the importance of D-Day — and if this wasn’t the 75th anniversary of the turning point in World War II, she wouldn’t devote that much time to it. D-Day is not part of the required curriculum in North Carolina — or in many other states.
Turcol reminds her students at Crossroads FLEX High School in Cary, North Carolina, that D-Day was an Allied victory that saved Europe from Nazi tyranny and that the young men who fought and died were barely older than they are. She sprinkles her lesson with details about the number of men, ships, and planes involved in the landing at Normandy while adding a few lesser-known facts about a Spanish spy and a deadly military practice conducted six months earlier in England.
The teacher takes 75 minutes to tell about D-Day – “and if this wasn’t the 75th anniversary of the turning point in World War II, she wouldn’t devote that much time to it.” I know exactly what you are thinking. I am thinking the very same thing. Good old Edmund Burke must be quoted here: “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”
Yes, these poor children are doomed. American college students have no idea who we fought in the American Revolution or why, cannot identify what century the Civil War was fought in or why and don’t even ask them about world history. They have never heard of the Armenian Genocide or Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward, in which millions starved to death.
It’s not the kids fault. I don’t blame the poor, ignorant children for a nanosecond. I don’t blame the public schools either. Public schools were never meant to produce a well-rounded and educated citizen. While Horace Mann may be the hero of the public school system, to me, he is the villain who created the human drone.
The result is that today’s children know all about Man-made Climate Change, but have never heard of World War II, let alone D-Day. Read these paragraphs from the APNews article and weep:
In the U.S., teaching about World War II varies from state to state. It’s often up to the teachers to decide how much time they want to give to individual battles like D-Day.
California’s History-Social Science Framework , adopted in 2016, includes for sophomores an expansive unit on World War II that includes how the conflict was “a total war,” the goals of the Allied and Axis Powers and how the fighting was fought on different fronts. The unit also includes a section on the Holocaust.
Up to the teachers to decide “how much time they want to give to individual battles like D-Day”? D-Day was the day the battle began on. D-Day was three and a half weeks long. D-Day changed the momentum of the war.
Maybe it’s just the article’s author’s wording, but it makes it seem like the Holocaust is an afterthought, in my opinion. Eleven million people are not an afterthought.
And, we, America won the war. Our Allies helped. Until we showed up, they were losing and country after country was getting rolled over by the Nazi War Machine. Individuals filled with grit and determination, who never heard of a participation trophy (and, wouldn’t take one if it were offered) won the war, inch by inch on the beaches of Normandy.
Last night, actor Sam Elliot gave voice to story of medic Sergeant Ray Lambert on D-Day:
Sgt. Ray Lambert had one D-Day story and there are millions more recorded for the history that is no longer taught. The schools won’t teach our children our history. There is no time for it. Our history is too colonialist, imperialist, racist, Western, whatever for the thin blood of our elites.
Please teach your children about D-Day and all of the rest of our history, good or bad. Don’t doom your children.
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Photo Credit: U.S. Army Pathfinders/This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.