Blog: The Educated Reporter

Pearl Harbor Day: How Are Schools Remembering?

When I was in middle school in the 1980s, Pearl Harbor day almost always meant a special assembly or classroom visit featuring veterans sharing their stories. Today, the National World War II Museum estimates that 14 million veterans who survived World War II have since died.The remaining 2 million veterans are dying at a rate of about 900 per day.
To some students today, Sept. 11 is considered ancient history. So how are the events leading up to the United States entering World War II taught by schools, and made relatable?
Schools from California to Florida have remembrance ceremonies scheduled for today, with flags to be flown at half-mast in front of the campuses. But some World War II veterans have expressed concern that students aren’t more aware of the significance of the anniversary.

“We don’t seem to be educating our children about what happened,” Melvin Kuehle, 89, told the Southeast Missourian. “The attack changed everything forever, and it’s tragic that more and more young people don’t know much about it, if anything.”

I found plenty of interesting materials online to help classroom teachers with their lesson plans (click here for Scholastic’s comprehensive site). The National Geographic’s education channel offers an interesting interactive attack map. There’s also a large collection of resources from U.S. federal agencies, which can be found by clicking here.
How is Pearl Harbor being taught in your local schools? Is the 71st anniversary of the attack being observed?

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