Archive for Wednesday, October 24, 2001

War veterans share their experiences with students

October 24, 2001

In a time of heightened patriotism across the nation, students at Basehor-Linwood High School listened to a presentation given by the Basehor Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The presentation, which took place on Oct. 22 at the BLHS auditorium, covered World War II as well as some of the events surrounding it.

In two different morning sessions, the seven VFW members spoke to the entire student body about their experiences in the war.

The wartime stories did not fall on deaf ears, BLHS Principal Bill Hatfield said.

"I thought it was timely with the recent actions that have taken place, and I think it meant a lot to the students because of what is going on right now," he said. "It is something they can relate to right now."

All of the seven VFW members that attended the presentation had served overseas during World War II. As part of the presentation, each member gave a synopsis of their experiences in training as well as combat.

In the past, some students might not have paid as close attention, but Basehor VFW member Wilbur Grisham said this year's event went well.

"I would say a good portion of them paid attention and some may have benefited from what they were told," he said. "On the whole, it went very well."

Basehor VFW educational coordinator Jim Oberg said recent world events might have helped the students listen more closely.

"On Dec. 7, our enemy reached up and slapped us in the face and the same kind of thing happened on 9-11-01 when our enemy destroyed those buildings and killed more people than Pearl Harbor," he said.

The presentation took a sobering turn for many students when VFW members said at the time they were called to service for the war, they were the same age as the high school students.

But in the end it was an informational day and a day to honor those that served their country. Oberg said he was pleased with the student involvement in the presentation.

"I think the student response was good and they all came in as students and listened as students," he said.

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