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AUSTIN EDITION Displays help bring history tour to life

By Jim Troyer

jtroyer@postbulletin.com

Forty-two members of Austin High School's Honors American History I class shared images of their recent history tour in Christgau Auditorium Wednesday morning.

Tabletop displays ranged from scenes of a famous Civil War battlefield to the dramatic statue of U.S. Marines raising the American flag on Iwo Jima in World War II.

The tour to Gettysburg, Pa., and Washington, D.C., took place March 20-25. In addition to research they did before departing, history teacher Andrea Malo said, the students had to choose a site in Gettysburg or Washington for a report and display when they got back. Viewing all the displays together was a capsule tour itself.

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Cassie Nagle and Katie Brody titled their display "The Forgotten War. "

"We didn't know much about it," Brody said.

They do now. Their display recreated a haunting scene from the Korean War, showing American soldiers draped in military ponchos against the cold. Like the other displays, theirs provided background on the events that led to creation of a memorial, as well as a detailed description of the memorial itself.

"The soldiers were very realistic," Nagle said.

The long-awaited memorial cost $18 million, which was raised through donations from businesses and individuals, Brody said.

Matt Vietor, Jake Krudger and Matt Day learned things about President Franklin Roosevelt they hadn't known before. FDR's memorial is one of the newest in Washington, and is spread over four rooms.

One of life-size statues they saw -- FDR in his wheelchair -- proved controversial, Krudger said. In real life, FDR and his advisors kept the wheelchair out of sight, but "times have changed."

Nikolas Oman, Kevin Groh and Bobby Jones picked the Smithsonian for their report.

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The three created their own slides, and selected animation software and music to accompany the presentation.

Their strongest memory of the tour, the students said, was the changing of the guard at Arlington National Cemetery.

One of the most elaborate displays was of the Holocaust Memorial Museum by Ashley Bumgardner, Uyen Pham and Brenna Lura. The memorial obviously had a strong effect on the teen-agers.

The impact was knowing what Jews went through, they said. Videos of Holocaust survivors telling about their experiences in Hitler's death camps helped make the memorial real.

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