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During WWI and WWII, the United States sent soldiers, airmen, marines, and sailors far away from home to distant shores in Europe. Museums and monuments pay homage to historic events and make excellent day trips for those who live nearby. For those who live further afield, the American Battle Monuments Foundation is committed to using technology to help everyone learn more about the servicemen who died to defend freedom for Europe. Use these tools to explore the wars, the people who are buried here, and the legacy of the Transatlantic bonds of friendship between nations.
Contribute to the story of a service member
Working with students to research the biography of a service member buried abroad is an excellent way to bring history to life, especially if the service member is from your hometown. This website encourages people on both side of the ocean to research and share information and tributes that perpetuate the memory of their lives and honor their sacrifice.
Work with youth in a classroom, scout troop or other group setting to create meaningful projects with a lasting legacy! Every class, group or individual project can be uploaded to the tribute page of any American service member buried abroad for viewing, reading and sharing by people worldwide.
Consider these ideas:
- Create and upload a YouTube video of a group project, discussion, ceremony or self-made event
- Upload written work: poems, reflections, essays or lectures
- Upload family photos, memories and stories, historical documents, military records, scans of honors a serviceman may have been awarded…
- Discover how to research the life and death of a soldier. Learn to use official and informal research sites.
- Add the name of your group, family or selected individuals to the list of Sentinels of Memory for a particular serviceman
- Talk to local veterans and serving members of the armed forces
- Talk to family members and local residents. Do they have memories to share? Document their thoughts and share them on a serviceman's tribute page.
- Earn the Price of Freedom Award
Young people of all ages respond to age-appropriate videos that provide an excellent basis to start discussions on the topics of remembrance. Consider using these recommended videos in classrooms to discuss with students the meaning of freedom and the role of the United States in the two world wars.
- For younger children, What Have We Learned Charlie Brown(link is external)? is an excellent starting point for a discussion about Memorial Day.
- For older students, the Emmy award-winning documentary The Forgotten Angel of Bastogne(link is external) tells the story of a heroic Congolese-born Belgian nurse who volunteered to save the lives of American soldiers during the Battle of the Bulge.
- Classic films will appeal to older students. The HBO Series Band of Brothers has two excellent episodes about the Battle of the Bulge. Although it has nothing to do with Belgium, Saving Private Ryan helps to understand the WWII from the perspective of an ordinary soldier.
A well-written history book offers a wealth of information and historical perspective. Consider these titles for use in classroom research projects.
- For younger children, try Richard Panchyk’s World War II for Kids, which is accompanied by activities for children.
- For high school (and university) students see this annotated bibliography:
Using Technology to Connect
If you are interested in learning more about technology-assisted classroom interactions, please see our related sections on Classroom Connections or the Price of Freedom Award.