The following story by Melissa Trujillo of the Associated Press seemed appropriate to share on this Veterans Day:
CHELSEA, Mass. –Ernie Sullivan was searching for a hands-on project for his Advanced Placement U.S. History class when he told his students to research a World War I memorial near Chelsea High School. What he and the teenagers found, he said, was a “huge historical omission.”
The plaque didn’t include the names of more than three dozen soldiers with ties to Chelsea who died during the war.
On Saturday, the work that began as a class project in 2001 culminated with the dedication of a new memorial with 99 names — including 41 that weren’t on the original. The ceremony was attended by Sullivan, his former students, veterans and city officials.
The new monument at the high school has four gray stones etched with the names of members of the U.S. Army, Navy and Marines, as well as British and Canadian forces. Three flag poles stand behind the stones.
“Civil order depends on a collective memory that goes deep,” Chelsea Public Schools Superintendent Thomas Kingston said at the ceremony. “It is the persistence, patience and determination of teachers like Ernie Sullivan who keep our memories alive.”
Sullivan, who retired in 2005 after a 35-year teaching career, said he wanted to create a project that would connect history to the students’ lives during the last five weeks of class, after they had taken the intense Advanced Placement test.
“History is dry, but it doesn’t have to be,” he said. [full text]