ARTICLE

A century to reflect on World War I

To the editor:

Teachers know what they want to teach. And when they want to teach it. That is why teaching for the “test” can be so stultifying for a creative teacher.

Experienced teachers usually welcome advice from colleagues and administrators but they often don’t need it. I am a retired teacher who probably gives too much advice. But I do have ideas.

This November 11 will mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. The guns stopped firing. It was silent. By mutual agreement of all parties involved.

Let’s all try to remember this date and honor all those who gave their lives in battle. The wounded, the widows, the aggrieved family members and friends. But let’s also help young people understand that 100 years ago is not that long ago - it may seem that way but it is not. Their grandfathers remember it well - their great-grandfathers might have been there.

And we can all learn the lesson from the Versailles Treaty that was signed the following year; and that was as responsible as any other single factor in starting World War II. Why? Because the terms of the treaty left the German people destitute - with no real chance to recover from the war - morally, financially, and emotionally.

Yes, World War I was and is an essential part of our history to learn about and understand, for people of all ages. A visit to the excellent World War I museum in Kansas City might offer the best opportunity for all of us to learn what we don’t know about this pivotal event in American history.

- Jim Turner, Fairfield