Shane Gower
Social Studies
Maranacook Community High School
Readfield, Maine USA

The Rhone American Cemetery located in Draguignan, France contains the remains of 861 soldiers who were killed during the invasion of Southern France in World War II. Lycée Maintenon is a school located in Hyeres, not far from the Rhone American Cemetery. My school entered into an exchange program with Lycée Maintenon from 2011-2013. During the exchange in 2011, the students toured the Rhone American Cemetery. We wanted to see if we could find living relatives who might have letters from the deceased soldier, photographs of the soldier, and any other artifacts from that soldier.

My interest in World War II and philosophy on teaching are connected. I am a firm believer in experience, role-play, and simulation. My students met the families and heard the stories from the people who lived through the war themselves. Students today are not asked to sacrifice often in their lives. But this type of educational experience helps students understand what sacrifice, and therefore the war, was all about.