Friday, July 4, 2008

Digital History

When I was in seventh grade I had a really good history teacher. I enjoyed listening to him teach. He didn't make me want to go dig through the dusty papers of our Vicksburg Courthouse or anything, but I would say that I was more intrigued than ever before.

Recently I found out about a cool website that the National Archives that eliminates the need for Benadryl when wanting to do a little historical research. It is called the Digital Archives. With some clicks of your mouse, you can explore through Archives of America's history. So far I have been reading about our space exploration, read a letter written to President Carter on a 2 x 4 during the 1980s recession asking for help with mortgages (sound familiar?), and read a great document about Private First Class Carl Bentley, an unarmed medic in Okinawa, who administered first aid and evacuated wounded soldiers while under fire.
When I get up my courage I may read about Vietnam. I have an uncle who served there. Obviously I didn't know him before he went, but I do know that when he returned he wasn't the same. The things he saw, experienced, smelled and felt were burned into his brain. He couldn't seem to get away from them no matter how hard he tried. Not only that but he returned to a Country who did not appreciate the sacrifice that he made. He tried to cope through methods that only made the terrors and horrors he was reliving even worse. Part of me wants to know more about what he fought through to give me the freedoms that I have today, but part of me feels like the horrors I have seen etched on his face and in his life have been all of Vietnam I ever want to experience.

1 comment:

Veggie Mom said...

The Digital Archives are cool, aren't they? My youngest used them to do a middle-school history project. I love learning about our history, but it's true--sometimes it makes my head hurt! Have a wonderful 4th of July!