ASK: The Wall

Today we had 11 classes from Michigan, New York and Texas interview a panel of our Vietnam Veterans as part of the ASK program. Students had read the books The Wall and Patrol, and prepared questions ahead of time.

We’ve done this program before, so I didn’t write down as many questions as I have on past ASK program posts. Plus I got so interested in the answers that I forgot to hook up another school with the Buffalo Zoo! Oops!

Our veterans answered 134 questions in the whole day, and in the session after lunch we hit a record for questions answered by a panel of veterans – 39 questions!! Two of the questions that stood out for me today were

  • Would you rather have fought in Vietnam or Iraq?
  • Were you the first person in your family to go to war and how did you feel about it?

While the topic is often very serious, we had some funny moments too. Today’s funniest moment was when a student from Killeen, TX, ask the veterans if they had ever “interacted with domestic animals.” One of our veterans had a very funny story on how one of his buddies, incidentally from Killeen, had an encounter with a water buffalo. Everyone was laughing. It was a neat moment.

I really like it when the students prepare special expressions of thanks for our veterans. Note this poster from last year. Today we had a couple classes give a standing ovation at the end. And Lee Elementary from El Paso TX had all the students wave flags as they said thank at the end. The veterans really liked that and appreciated it!

In addition, a few of the classes really decorated the area where the students were asking questions. Our veterans enjoyed this expression of patriotism too.

Thank you to all the classes who prepared such excellent questions & took time to learn about the Vietnam War.

0 replies on “ASK: The Wall”

  1. Tomorrow is our first videoconference program like this. We are going to call our series “Let Freedom Ring” so that we can do all types of programs under it. We are starting with Veterans’ Stories tomorrow and I am do excited.

    Last week when I first met our veterans, I sat and listened to their stories from World War II through the Cold War and was touched by their dedication and service to our country. It is an amazing experience. This to me is one situation where it is definitely worth it to be synchronous and interactive 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this project and inspiring others to develop programs similar to this.

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