A Public History Project

War and Remembrance: War Memorials at Worcester Academy

As an institution founded in 1834, the Academy’s history is uniquely suited to serve as a springboard for learning about our nation’s past and connecting it to the present–the possibilities are endless. The war memorials located in the Megaron (a multi-purpose building on campus) provide a case in point. Many members of the community walk by the two plaques in the Megaron everyday. But there is a history to be explored here. The realization that we are all part of something larger than ourselves can be discovered through a careful examination and analysis of these memorials to faculty and former WA students who served in the catastrophic world wars that dominated much of the 20th Century.

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Primary sources and alumni publications on wartime experiences in World I and II and the Korean War.

This public history project in 11th grade American Studies was designed with the mission of the History and Social Science department at Worcester Academy very much in mind, particularly the goals of sharpening communication skills and helping students to see the relevance of History for understanding and solving today’s problems. It is now part of a display to honor WA’s veterans, sponsored by alumni and development at WA.

(Click here for an overview of the work and planning that the A, B and D period American Studies in History classes put into this project)

Student Videos on WA Alumni and the World Wars

Overview of the Wars Memorialized at the Academy

The War Memorials at WA

The Men Memorialized

The Enola Gay and Debates in the Field of Public History

A Brief History of Worcester Academy

WWI and II on our campus versus famous memorials in …

Japan and China

Washington D.C.

Germany and France

Popular Perceptions and the World Wars

The videos (above) are a great resource for Part I of the final exam in Dr. Murnane’s American Studies class on June 21, 2015.

Here are the questions:

Part I (Short Essays)

Be specific. Use examples from this year’s course of study. You are allowed to use a note-card with quotes, statistics, or other information on it as a reference. Be sure to include a thesis, road map, and ample evidence. Write at least one paragraph for each of the questions in Part I please.

Take your time. Relax and do quality work.

  1. Explain the major causes of ONE of the wars listed here: WWI, WWII, the Korean War, The Vietnam War, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. (10%)
  2. Explain changes in the way you think about the two war memorials in the Megaron–before we did the memorial project versus after. (10%)
  3. Why do people create memorials? (10%)
  4. What is their meaning or social purpose? (10%)
  5. Does that meaning change overtime? Why? (10%)

Students should consult the Topics page for class entitled “Review for Final Exam” in MyHillTop (the Academy’s intranet system for course materials etc) for Part II of the exam and other information. Thanks for a great year. I enjoyed working with all of the students in my American Studies in History classes this year.



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