An Iowa educator's research of a fallen World War II hero's life and military service has been published on an award-winning website that is used by teachers across the United States.
In July, Suzan Turner of Nashua-Plainfield High School traveled to France and Luxembourg to research Pfc. Harvey E. Wilson, Jr. (1921-1945) of Nashua as part of the Understanding Sacrifice program created by National History Day and sponsored by the American Battle Monuments Commission. After finishing her research, Turner created a profile, eulogy and lesson plans, all of which are now available on ABMCEducation.org.
“This partnership with the American Battle Monuments Commission allowed us to take extraordinary educators to several of the hallowed battlefields and memorials of Europe,” National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn said. “Their unique experiences will now help teachers around the world bring history to life with the materials they added to ABMCeducation.org.”
"As the state agency that oversees the National History Day program in Iowa, we are extremely proud of Suzan Turner for her dedication and commitment to making sure the memory of our fallen heroes are remembered and shared forever," State Historical Society of Iowa Administrator Susan Kloewer said. "We encourage all Iowans to join us in congratulating her for this well-deserved honor."
The Understanding Sacrifice program is a year-long professional development project that focuses on fallen heroes of World War II who are buried or memorialized at ABMC cemeteries in Europe.
Designed to reinvigorate the study of World War II in American classrooms, lesson plans are multi-disciplinary and use primary and secondary sources, videos, and hands-on activities to transport students to the past to gain a vivid understanding of the high cost paid by all Americans during the war. Each lesson plan is based on scholarship and integrated with Common Core Standards.
Since 1994, the National History Day in Iowa program has been coordinated by the State Historical Society of Iowa, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. The year-long academic program encourages middle- and high-school students to conduct original research on historical topics. Students enter their projects at local and state contests, with top students advancing to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. More information is available at iowaculture.gov or 515-281-5111.