The other night a student comes into the classroom wearing a cap promoting Dale Hollow Lake. We got to chit-chatting a bit and I mentioned that when my wife and I were down there a few years back we went to the grave site of Alvin York. He gave me the blank look and I knew he had no idea who Alvin York was. This young man seems to be pretty sharp, so I assumed he would have heard of the famous World War I hero at some point in his education. I then asked every other student in the lab that night, both in my class and the other class that was out there. Not a one of them could tell me who Alvin York was. Granted, it was a pretty small group to be basing any conclusions about today's young people and/or the educational system, but it seems a shame that the name Alvin York didn't register with any of them.
I'm not much of a flag waver, but how are we going to have any national pride if we don't honor the sacrifices made by those who've come before us and those currently doing just that. Not just military heroes, either. Policemen, firemen, teachers and all the working stiffs that get up every morning to provide for themselves and their families. It's not the responsibility of the young people to know who Alvin York is. It's our job as parents and educators to see to it that they learn about what's important and what made this country what it is. It's our job to teach them to respect others and to instill in them the values necessary to live in harmony among our fellow citizens.
Should have listened to Merle back in the 70's.