Nassau museum to aid WWII education

Grace McQuade

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano has announced that the Museum of American Armor in Plainview, the Long Island Living History Group and Nassau County’s Old Bethpage Village Restoration will host a joint educational program for Long Island high school students to strengthen their understanding of World War II with a field trip this autumn.

Entitled “Your Family’s World War II Legacy,” the program integrates classroom curriculum with operational armor, military field tactics and small arms in open woods reminiscent of World War II France.

“I want to thank the Museum of American Armor and the LI Living History Group for putting together such a vital and educational program for Long Island’s high school students,” said Mangano. “This program will provide students with a deeper understanding of World War II that will make real what they learn in the classroom. If the enormous legacy of that earlier American generation is to be upheld, it will be up to us to pass it on to the future generations.”

Lawrence Kadish, president and founder of the Museum of American Armor, said, “There is not a family anywhere on Long Island that is not directly connected to the legacy of World War II. The challenge in sustaining that inheritance is that the hard lessons learned from that conflict are rarely explored in any depth in the classroom. This program changes the conversation.”

Participating Long Island school districts will have students arrive at Old Bethpage Village Restoration throughout the day on Monday, Oct. 16, where living historians will introduce them to how, where and why World War II was fought, followed by armor and infantry field exercises that assault an enemy position. Park officials expect as many as 2,000 students to visit the military encampment throughout the day.

Gloria Sesso, chairperson of the Long Island Council for the Social Studies, said, “This program builds on efforts of the armor museum, living historians and Nassau County to create a lasting educational environment that multitasks Old Bethpage Village Restoration. As educators, we welcome them as allies in helping tell the story of a war that forever changed the course of history and one that continues to direct the actions of nations around the world.”

Libby O’Connell, History Channel chief historian emeritus and chairperson of the NYC World War I Centennial Commission, said, “This day-long program has the means to become a statewide model for field trips that immerse students in a period of time that remains a pivotal moment in world history. Those school districts that participate should be commended for going above and beyond the curriculum that seeks merely to ‘teach to the test.’ Equally important, commendations should be offered to the Museum of American Armor, the living historians and Nassau County for placing these assets before educators and their students.”

Districts may contact Old Bethpage Village Restoration group reservations at 516-572-8408 to make reservations.

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