Over the last couple weeks, I have led my students through the trenches of World War I. After discussing the causes of this war – and its overall unjustness (a theme not repeated for WWII), we looked carefully at what the individual soldiers faced. It is generally a heavy unit, with the kids and myself a little drained by the end. Over the last couple days, students presented poems they wrote after reading the poems of Wilfred Owen and John McCrae – sometimes a fifteen year old can be incredibly insightful. The most moving moment was when one student, who’s brother is currently deployed in Iraq, read hers. It was about a brother and sister, and the first time she tried, she couldn’t get through it. The lessons of this unit seem to be having a greater impact this year – even some of the boys have toned down their warmongering!
During my morning news read, I came across this article about the 900 children who have lost a father – over 40 brave servicemen never even met their children. The sacrifices these men and women choose to make are incredible, and to some degree unimaginable.