Jamie Sawatzky
Social Studies
Rocky Run Middle School
Chantilly, Virginia USA

My study of World War II, and more importantly my passion for teaching it, is based largely on an oral history program that I started at my school in the 2001-2002 school year. This program, entitled the “Latest Generation Meets the Greatest Generation” started with one veteran coming in to one class to share his story of serving in the Pacific. The success of this event led to my colleagues asking to join in, and by working together we were able to grow the program from its small beginnings to one that by 2008 was annually hosting more than 100 veterans and civilians of World War II.

The amazing success of these oral history programs has created the need for a history club to prepare for the annual event as well as to conduct additional interviews during the course of the year. Through this club we have been fortunate to interview many history makers such as General Colin Powell as well as to take behind the scene tours of historic places such as the Pentagon and Air Force One.

Closer to home, I have served as a youth coordinator for the Spirit of ‘45 organization which is dedicated to remembering the sacrifices of the "Greatest Generation" as well as the important work that generation did in forming post World War II United States.