Special thanks to the Friends of the World War II Memorial for sharing some of my photographs from our day on Sunday. They also promoted our blog and it's been getting a lot of traffic! Be sure to visit their website and LIKE them on Facebook!! Lots of great resources for teachers and WWII buffs! http://www.wwiimemorialfriends.org/
Photos from the American History Smoithsonian
GEORGE WASHNGTON UNIVERSITY--MOUNT VERNON CAMPUS--Today was a very interesting day loaded with tons of great information from two national experts in their field, time at the Smithsonians, and then an evening spent watching a documentary made in 1945 about the European Theatre of WWII hosted by the man in command, none other than General Eisenhower. Here's a quick synopsis of the day and a little teaser for what's happening on Tuesday...
That's the bottom line message in a very fascinating lecture delivered by Lt. Alex Smith (U.S. Navy) in his lecture titled "The Environment's Impact on Overlord--There is a Tide in the Affairs of Men." Mr. H. and Matti are both science nerds in addition to being history nerds so this was an awesome amalgamation of the two subjects.
Lt. Smith didn't mention it specifically, but it's no coincidence that so many failed military campaigns are tied to weather conditions. His lecture focused on the preparations that went into making Operation Overlord a success.
The "so what" of Lt. Smith's message basically was this: working around the tides did not turn the tide of war but it definitely played a significant role in the success of the overall mission. "Overlord is more than troops landing on the beach with valor," he said. "You have to appreciate the nine months of planning just to be able to reach the point of invasion when the conditions were right for using a competitive advantage to its best utility."
Life on the Home Front
Two lectures between breakfast and lunch sounded daunting at first, but both were so riveting that paying attention to both was not an issue--no joke! The second lecture from the day came from Erik Arnesen, a great guy and a history professor at George Washington University. He is accompanying our group to France and toured with us yesterday at the Memorials/Monuments.
One of the most impressive things from Sunday that both Mr. H. and Matti took away from the WWII Memorial is that it's not just a memorial for fallen soldiers. That's the case with the Korean and Vietnam War Memorials but the WWII Memorial is for all Americans who were part of the war effort. Arnesen's lecutre, "The Home Front: Life and Work in World War II Ameica" focused on all those in the U.S. who were crucial to the success of D-Day and the larger war effort.
He covered so many different subjects, topics and groups of people it's tough to narrow down. The bottom line of his talk that is central to what this Institute is all about is that a lot of people sacrificed to the Allied victory. Some chose to sacrifice, some had it selected, and the largest group of people came together to be part of something greater than they were alone.
Night at the Movies
The evening was spent watching a movie titled, "The True Glory" which is available on Amazon and listed on IMDB (so it has to be good, right?). It was made while the war still waged on in Europe and is like a 90-minute news special created by the U.S. government. Great vintage footage and fascinating to watch.
By the way, if you want more details on the subject of those lectures let me now and I'll send you my adults and pictures of the presentation slides. As always...follow on Twitter, Facebook and share with others.