Scott Moore understands the military. As the son of an active duty soldier, the high school student from Clarksville has seen his father deploy six times. Now this spring and summer, he’ll get an opportunity to study one of the most intense military conflicts in human history.
Scott will be traveling to France along with one of his teachers to study World War II as part of the 2015 Normandy: Sacrifice for Freedom Albert H. Small Student and Teacher Institute. This program will immerse 15 student-and-teacher teams from across the country in the history of the Normandy Invasion and the service members who gave their lives in it.
The program is run by National History Day, a history competition for middle and high school age students. Scott was a gold medal winner in last year’s Tennessee History Day competition, the statewide version of the contest.
Scott’s teacher and teammate on the project, Whitney Joyner, also has a strong connection to the military. As a teacher at Northeast Middle School in Clarksville, she has taught the sons and daughters of military personnel and is the granddaughter of a World War II veteran. Joyner hopes that the lessons she learns from the Normandy Institute will inform her teaching.
In preparation for their trips to Washington, D.C., and France, Scott and Joyner will complete selected readings, review interviews with World War II veterans, engage in online discussions with the other participants and research a local silent hero who is laid to rest in the American Cemetery at Normandy.
“This is National History Day’s fifth year running the Normandy program,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “Each student selects a U.S. service member who did not make it home from Normandy and conducts in-depth research on that individual. By the time they travel to France, they have formed a personal connection that allows them to better understand the sacrifices that people made for their country and our personal freedoms.”
Scott participated in Tennessee History Day for the last three years and is currently mentoring Joyner’s middle school students. Joyner has taught students in the program for the past five years. The Tennessee Historical Society coordinates Tennessee History Day.
“I congratulate Scott and Ms. Joyner on their selection to this program,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “It is so important that we honor our military and appreciate the sacrifices that they have made for us. I know this is going to be a wonderfully enriching experience for all of those who were selected to participate.”
The Tennessee Secretary of State's office is a sponsor of Tennessee History Day.
Scott and Joyner will travel in June to Washington, D.C., where they will meet with the selected participants from other states for five days of lectures and memorial visits. After their time in D.C., students and teachers will travel with National History Day staff to Normandy.
Students will give eulogies for their selected service members and discuss the roles they played in the invasion during a remembrance ceremony at the end of the institute.