Vietnam veterans event for US history students planned to be on May 11

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On May 11, students taking a US history course will have the option to participate in a Vietnam veterans event hosted by US history teacher James Ziegler in the media center. The event will consist of not only Vietnam War veterans but other Cold War veterans as well, such as those from the Korean War, coming in and speaking to students about their experiences. According to Ziegler, this year will be the second year here at this school he has hosted the event.

“It’s definitely something that we encourage as many of our US history kids to come down and participate in,” Ziegler said. “Since we only have one day, not all US history classes will be able to participate. But for those classes that do participate, the majority of the kids will come down and kind of see it as a favorite event.”

Ziegler said the event had been a success last year with 15 veterans donating their time to speak to students. As for the reason why Ziegler decided to begin the event last year, he said he began it because the event provides a unique perspective to the time period during the Cold War.

“These veterans, well, they’re not getting any younger, and as time goes on, there’s fewer and fewer that are going to be around,” Ziegler said. “So I think it’s important for kids to have an opportunity to speak with these guys and get a firsthand account of what they went through and experienced because that’s the best way to learn the materials from the people who were there firsthand. Also it’s something that will stick with the kids probably for a lot of them for the rest of their lives.”

Senior Kern Vohra, who participated in the event as a junior last year, said he gained knowledge as well as respect for the armed forces from the event.

“It did not have a particularly profound influence on my life, but I certainly gained even greater respect for the men and women of our armed forces after its conclusion,” Vohra said via email. “I think that this event is important to students because it directly illustrates just how the armed forces impact the lives of everyday citizens, which you don’t really feel as a Carmel resident.”

Ziegler also said he gained greater respect as well as a different perspective of war after the event.

“It’s definitely changed me and my perspective of war and about what soldiers kind of give up in sacrifice when they go serve,” Ziegler said. “I think it gives kids a little bit of a greater perspective on that as well.”