Tuesday, June 7, 2016

When did we stop learning?

I'm not one to brag, but I know a few things.  I know that math and music have more in common that the average person might think.  I know that a trip from my home to Milwaukee, WI will take 15 hours at 20 miles per hour.  I know what a dew point is and what effect it has on weather.  And, I know that June 6 is the anniversary of D-day.

It was on June 6 of this year that I found out that there are some people who don't know about D-day.  They don't know what it was, what it accomplished, or why we should remember it!  I know that it was more than 70 years ago, and that one might think it has little to do with the timeline on your Facebook page, but I just want to scream "Dammit all, didn't you learn ANYTHING in school?"

Veterans of the landings at Normandy, if they're still alive, are pushing 100 years old, and it won't be long before we read the article about the death of  the last survivor of that fateful day.

That's what makes this harder and harder to understand!  Imagine a world where the Normandy Invasion never happened.  It's not hard, if you've contemplated a Trump presidency.

As Americans, the words "Concord and Lexington" are firmly ingrained in our collective memories as important moments in our Revolutionary War.  The same is said for various Civil War battles, including The Siege of Atlanta and the Battle of Shiloh.  We may not remember the dates, but the battles and military actions are important to us as a nation.

While we require that a person who wants to become an American citizen pass a civics exam to be sure they know what our country is all about, we rarely require this from our own, native-born citizens.

We're all worried about how we stack up against other countries when it comes to math scores and science scores, but when it comes to history our educators have allowed our young students to coast through with little understanding of how things like World War II affect our daily lives RIGHT NOW!

Movies like Starship Troopers suggest that one way to become a citizen would be to serve a mandated minimum time in military service to their country.  I like that.  I would also suggest that people should be required to pass an exam, similar to the one that immigrants have to take, before being allowed to vote.

What really worries me, though, is the fact that the children of these oblivious people are looking up from their homework and saying: "Dad, can you help me with WWII history?"  To which Dad replies: "D-day?  What's that?"

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