Textbooks and teachers can tell students all the facts about World War Two however the stories of a veteran will not only instill knowledge but spark emotion.
The Columbus community was greeted this Tuesday by a very special guest, 91 year old World War 2 veteran Todd Silverman. Silverman spoke with both teachers and students throughout the day about his experience in WW2. He talked about Pearl Harbor and how the Japs bombing it was one big mistake and how they woke the “sleeping giant.” He not only educated the students and teachers about this huge event but also gave his personal account to it. Silverman was only a teenager in high school when the war began and he talked about how his father wouldn’t let him enlist until after he got his diploma which he noted was the best decision he made. He continued on about boot camp and how he went to radio school for 16, the action he saw with his crew in the Pacific and the lives of friends he has lost along the way.
What makes this event so special is the connection between the old generation and new generation of Americans. Andre Madrid, president of the Patriot Club, said “we should look to them as models for our future generations and for the current generation so we can do great things like they did.” When Andre Madrid cofounded the Patriot Club it was people like Todd Silverman and the other great service men and women who he kept in mind. Madrid on the importance of the event said “it is important to honor the integrity and the service of those before us.”
Silverman also enlightened students on the importance of education and leaving them with sense of nationalism and pride for one’s country that comes from listening to someone who fought in the war. Austin Wagner, Senior, reflected on how kids nowadays aren’t really aware of the significance of war back in the day and “it’s good to remember these heroes because a lot of them are getting older and passing off but when they come and visit us they leave their legacy behind for us to follow.” What David Febles, Freshman, took away from the speaker and knowledge he gained from Silverman is that “it teaches us the sacrifices that people made for the country so we can appreciate it more.”
Silverman not only inspired and captivated the students but also some of the teachers in attendance. Andrew Harriman, Religious Studies teacher, was in the audience and took Sosa to time to reflect of Silverman stories saying “that serving his country was something very important and proud of what he did.” Harriman also noted Silverman’s view on war and how he was “always optimistic in battle, he never thought oh what if I die, he would say oh when I get home…” Harriman along with rest of the Columbus community was grateful to hear from a veteran of a war that changed the course of the country in person. And with days away from the anniversary of Pearl Harbor, what better way to remember fallen heroes than by meeting one who lived and breathed it.