Great Holiday Movie for Students – The Book Thief – iHistory WW2 Video Contest for Teens

By: Janelle Worthington & iHistory WW2 Contest

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The Book Thief – Now in theaters!

The Book Thief chronicles the story of a determined and spirited girl, Liesel, and her penchant for “borrowed” books.

The story begins in pre-war Germany, where Liesel, quiet and illiterate, arrives at her adoptive home with only a few belongings and a book she acquired from a gravedigger. With the loving support of her new Papa (Geoffrey Rush), she slowly begins to learn to read and write. The basement walls evolve into a giant dictionary. However, soon the basement shelters a secret and forbidden houseguest, and the family must take courage in their trust of each other in order to survive.

This houseguest helps Liesel to see beyond just the words themselves and challenges her to observe and write about what she sees outside the basement walls: “If your eyes could speak, what would they say?”

As Liesel and her family and friends struggle against hunger, illness, and the terror of air raids, she sees the value of using words to create stories to encourage those around her in their efforts to survive their harsh conditions.  Her courage becomes contagious!

This is an inspiring movie for youth, as it demonstrates the power of compassion, determination to learn, and the power of words.

It shows that once someone is motivated to learn and they are provided with compassion, encouragement, inspiration, and resources, they can succeed.  It is also a lesson to adults and teachers regarding the importance of using opportunities to give that compassion, encouragement, inspiration, and resources to those around us.

If you are interested in inspiring today’s youth by connecting them with American WWII veterans in an effort to collect the stories of our courageous veterans before they are lost forever, please visit our iHistory WW2 video contest website!  Public online voting of the entrants will be January 6-17, 2014!

Pearl Harbor Veterans Honored at US Navy Memorial in Washington DC – December 7, 2013 – iHistory WW2 Video Contest for Students

By: Jeffrey Worthington & iHistory WW2 Contest

On December 7th I had the honor of attending the Pearl Harbor memorial service at the US Navy Memorial in Washington DC.  Pearl Harbor survivors present were; Major Albert Grasselli, who was a PFC stationed at Ewa Beach Marine Airfield when the Japanese attacked, and STC Howard Snell who was stationed at Submarine Base, Pearl Harbor.

There were only two veterans of Pearl Harbor who were able to come. It’s sad to think that soon there won’t be any left.  Seeing them reminded me of the urgency of  connecting today’s youth with the Greatest Generation and collecting the remaining WWII veterans’ stories while we still can.  I am very grateful for the opportunity I had to know and interview a local New Mexico veteran of Pearl Harbor (read the story on my previous blog post) and I strive to inspire today’s youth to do the same via our iHistory WW2 video contest.

As a professional photographer I always have my camera with me.  Below are some of the moving event in Washington D.C.

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Color Guard during a Pearl Harbor service at the US Navy Memorial in Washington DC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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STC (SS) Howard Snell USN talking with JROTC students.
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Rear Adm. Mark Rich, commandant of Naval District Washington, shakes the hand of Pearl Harbor survivor, Major Albert Grasselli, who was a PFC stationed at Ewa Beach Marine Airfield when the Japanese attacked. Grasselli is also a veteran of the Battle of Midway.
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Lou Large, president of the Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors, speaking at the service.
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A great group of JROTC students came for the event.
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Left to right: Unknown Naval Office, Rear Adm. Mark Rich, Lou Large, and Pearl Harbor veterans STC Howard Snell, and Major Albert Grasselli.
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It was moving to see the respect of the passersby.
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A child bows his head during the chaplain’s prayer.
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The Honor Guard.
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Rear Adm. Mark Rich walks Lou Large to place a wreath.
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Major Albert Grasselli shakes hand of a JROTC cadet.
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STC (SS) Howard Snell, survivor of the Pearl Harbor attack, with iHistory Contest founder & project director, Jeffrey Worthington.


For updates and to learn more about the iHistory WW2 Contest, visit our website (www.ihistoryprojectww2.org), and be sure to LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Help us continue the iHistory Contest by making a tax-deductible donation on our website: DONATE

Pearl Harbor Veterans Remembered – iHistory WW2 Video Contest for Students

By: Jeffrey Worthington & Heather Van Allen

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Jeffrey Worthington speaking with WWII veteran, a survivor of the Pearl Harbor attack, Scotty Burrows. (Photo 2006)

On December 7, 1941, U.S. military servicemen woke up to what should have been a normal Sunday morning on the naval base at Pearl Harbor, on the south side of the Hawaiian island of Oahu. But everything changed at 7:55 a.m., when the Japanese launched a surprise attack. During the just under two hours that followed, Japanese planes attacked in two waves, focusing on eight U.S. battleships and either sinking or damaging each one. The assault also damaged 13 ships of other types, bringing the total number to 21. Additionally, the Japanese struck several American airfields with the goal of destroying planes on the ground to minimize counter-attacks by the U.S.  The raids left 2,335 U.S. servicemen dead and 1,143 wounded.

Founder of the iHistory WW2 Contest, Jeffrey Worthington, had the honor of interviewing  Scotty Burrows, a local New Mexican WWII veteran who was at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked.

Burrows was the bugler at Pear Harbor the morning of December 7th, 1941.  He was standing with two other Marines at the flag poll waiting to sound morning First Call, but when Japanese planes screaming overhead, Burrows immediately called “Air Defense” instead.  He was ordered to grab a rifle and run down to the hospital because a Japanese plane had crashed into it and they wanted to see if there were any survivors they could take hostage.  Upon arriving at the hospital he found no survivors from the plane. He was then ordered to help guard a nearby airfield in case of a Japanese invasion, where he spent one of the longest nights of his life.  It was a common belief at the time that Japan might try to invade the islands that night.  For the next 14 days, Burrows was assigned to play Taps for the burials of the Americans killed in the attack.

Burrows served the rest of World War II as a Marine in the Pacific, and was part of the Battle of Tassafaronga aboard the USS Minneapolis.  Sadly, like too many WWII veterans, Burrows passed away a few years ago.  I once asked him if he had advice to today’s youth.  He responded, “Go to your library and learn. Go to the library and read. Go and listen. Watch the History Channel and the Discovery Channel.”

This Pearl Harbor Day, join us in remembering and honoring those who were lost 72 years ago today, as well as those who lived to tell the story.

Help us continue the iHistory Contest by making a tax-deductible donation on our website: DONATE

Delivered WWII Interviews to Veterans History Project – iHistory WW2 Video Contest for Students

By: Jeffrey Worthington & iHistory WW2 Contest

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(L) Tim Holbert, project director of the American Veterans Center; (C) Jeffrey Worthington, founder/project director of the iHIstory Contest; (R) Bob Patrick, director of VHP.

We just dropped off the first batch of iHistory WW2 interviews for the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress this morning! These were interviews of service men and women from nearly all the branches of the military, including one veteran who was 100 years old! We had student submissions from 17 states across the country, ranging from California to Massachusetts, and Alabama to Michigan.

Bob Patrick, Director of VHP, said “as a classroom component, iHistory allows students to expand both an individual and national understanding of wartime experiences.”

iHistory WW2 contest is proud to be working in cooperation with the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project in helping to preserve the legacy of American servicemen and women.  The Library of Congress launched its efforts in 2000 and to date has collected nearly 90,000 veterans’ oral histories, of which over 30,000 have been of WWII veterans.  According to the National WWII Museum, there are still almost one million WWII servicemen alive and the iHistory WW2 contest is looking forward to playing a part in working with the Library of Congress to ensure that as many of these stories as possible live on for this generation and for those yet to come.  Learn more about the Veterans History Project.

For updates and to learn more about the iHistory WW2 Contest, visit our website (www.ihistoryprojectww2.org), and be sure to LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Students Submit WWII Oral Histories For Chance to Win A Blackmagic Cinema Camera Prize – iHistory WW2 Video Contest

By: Jeffrey Worthington & iHistory WW2 Contest

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We just finished processing the full length interviews of World War II veterans that students submitted from across the country!  This Friday we will deliver them to the Library of Congress!  Great work and a special thank you to everyone who participated!  The interviews look great!

The Worthington Foundation is proud to be working in cooperation with the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project in helping preserve the legacy of American servicemen and women. The student’s full interviews of the veterans will be permanently archived in the American Folk Life Center of the Library of Congress.

Do you have a story about your experience in interviewing your veteran, or what you learned by participating in the contest?  Please send us your stories and feedback at: info@ihistoryproject.org

Again, thank you for your entries to the iHistory WW2 contest!

For updates and to learn more about the iHistory WW2 Contest, visit our website (www.ihistoryprojectww2.org), and be sure to LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!