Making History While Recording History

May 29, 2018

High-schoolers’ oral history project revisits Vietnam through the stories and memories of its veterans

Bay Weekly, May 25, 208

by Bill Sells

 No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now.
–Richard Nixon
 
      It is a bit unsettling to read this polarizing quote from, of all people, Richard Nixon. But the truth of the statement and of the war itself is an unsettling and polarizing historical record. 

For the students at Anne Arundel County’s Southern High School, finding out the truth of the Vietnam War straight from the lips of the veterans who were there is nothing less than a unifying historical event.

      “I felt it,” said freshman Andrew Huber, describing how the stories he heard affected him as he interviewed Navy veteran Reginald Mitchell.
      “What he went through during the war hit me like a brick wall,” Huber said. 
      Mitchell, Huber’s uncle, is a man he’s known most of his life.
      “I know him, but I didn’t know about him or that he was even in a war,” Huber says. “It definitely changed the way I look at history and changed the way I see him. He’s an incredible man.” 
      For the third year, students and veterans have joined together for the school’s Signature program’s oral history project, Maryland Veterans: A Journey through Vietnam. It is a project that hits close to home for Southern history teacher Jennifer Davidson. Her grandfather served in Korea and Vietnam, and her father also served during Vietnam.
 
Read the full article on the Maryland Humanities program here
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