SALISBURY, Md.- They are separated in age by about eight decades. But dozens of children and World War II veterans were brought together this year in Wicomico County schools.
It is part of a program known as TAD, or Thinking and Doing. Wednesday night marked the culmination of months of teamwork, with about 200 local students showcasing documentaries they put together, telling the stories of local World War II veterans.
They are part of the Greatest Generation: brave men who put their lives on the line, for love of country, and fought during World War II.
"It's so important that the children know the history of our country, and what not me, but what our generation did to defend our country, and the enormous commitment we made," noted Col. Bob Cook.
Cook is one of about 40 veterans helping to keep history alive through the TAD program in Wicomico County schools.
"It was wonderful doing this, going into the schools and speaking to these beautiful children," he explained.
Students like Brianna and Casey are glad he did.
"It's just really cool to have a World War II veteran talking and sharing some stories that we can save," said third-grader Brianna Spicer.
The students created documentaries based on those stories, and say the whole experience brought the learning process to life.
"In textbooks or something, you don't feel like you're actually there," explained fourth grade student, Casey Insley. "But when you're talking to a real live person and when they were there at that time, it felt more alive, like you were actually there."
For veterans like Austin Cox Sr., it was an opportunity to carry on a promise to his fallen brothers.
"I'm speaking for them," he shared. "The ones that could not speak now. Everyday, I live the life that they would have lived, if they had been living. They did not have a chance to have children, and so I'm speaking for them.
The student's interviews were submitted to the Veterans History Project, in conjunction with the Library of Congress, as well as Salisbury University's NABB Center.
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