Erin Reece, a senior at Milwaukie High School,
sits listening intently to the stories told by
Susan Roberts reflects on the Living History Day: "It is an example of what happens when the students and staff of a large high school take a good idea and make it better. The Veterans Day assembly had always been a powerful event, but the Living History Day gave students a personal understanding of war and its consequences that they will never forget. A school-wide project is a lot of work; the organizational duties are numerous and time consuming, but the results are worth it. The project was a success because the topic was meaningful to students and staff. It was built on an already successful event, and the subject matter was incorporated into every classroom--no matter the discipline. The only living Marine recipient of the Medal of Honor, Arthur Jackson, traveled from Arizona to attend the event. He said it was the finest event he has ever attended in recognition of those who served their country in World War II.
The school has continued to have an annual Living History Day. Each year the event gains momentum. In 2000, students raised $50,000 to support a Living History Day that involved 3,000 veterans. The program was expanded to provide three speaker sessions for each classroom at Milwaukie High School as well as at two other area high schools. For the first time monies funded the USO, which was held at the Memorial Coliseum. Students and staff from 23 area high schools participated in entertaining the veterans at the show. Living History Day has evolved into a district-wide commitment to community service, community partnership, and learning the lessons of history from those who helped make it."