Mostly known for leading the Pearl Harbor memorial ceremony every Dec. 7, or for teaching 8th graders how a Civil War soldier would dress, march and fire his weapon, VS Middle School history teacher Alex Vasquez has been asked to research stories to share about another war: World War 1.
Honoring “fellows like these:” Nov. 11 ceremony to mark 100th anniversary of Armistice Day
Vinton will join the entire world on Nov. 11, 2018, observing the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day — the day the Great War officially ended.
We had asked Mr. Vasquez what he was researching for presentation on Nov. 11.
He replied: “I have thought quite a bit about how to answer your question and find that I cannot easily do so. About the best I can do is tell you that I hope to give honor to fellows like what you see in the attached picture. It’s a French combat trench that was totally filled in by dirt flung around during a German shelling, and so much of it fell that the trench was obliterated and the French soldiers in it were killed at their posts. Years later a farmer tilling the soil began hitting the tips of their bayonets and it was discovered these soldiers were still standing watch in their trench.”
Vasquez said he will talk about the lingering effects of the war, including this one:
“Even now in 2018, according to an article I will partially share at the ceremony, at least twice a week bomb-squads are called out into the French countryside to disarm unexploded shells from the war, found by local farmers in their fields,” says the teacher.
Vasquez also acknowledges how history eventually would give the Great War a new name: World War I.
“What is really sad is that ‘The Great War–The War To End All Wars’ would eventually need a number,” says Vasquez.
Area veterans groups are organizing the celebration.
The ceremony will take place Sunday, Nov. 11, in the VS Middle School library. The doors will be open to the public at 9:30, Alex’s presentation will begin around 10:15.