In the Footsteps of a Fallen Hero - Mid-Pacific Institute

High School News

In the Footsteps of a Fallen Hero

Mid-Pacific's Maile Chow conducts research in Northern Europe and Hawai'i

Posted on November 10, 2015 by Scot Allen

WASHINGTON, D.C. - National History Day (NHD), the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC), and the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media are launching a new, free digital resource for teachers on Veterans Day: This website includes 21 lesson plans created by American teachers who took the trip of a lifetime this summer to discover the stories of World War II fallen heroes buried and memorialized overseas as part of the Understanding Sacrifice education program.

Mid-Pacific's Maile Chow designed a lesson plan for English, social studies, and journalism classrooms inspired by her research of the sacrifice of U.S. Army Pvt. Henry Saaga, also from Honolulu. Chow's visit to northern Europe allowed her to follow the footsteps of her fallen hero. Her lesson plan, History and Journalism: Examining the Events of World War II Through a Journalistic Lens, incorporates historical news broadcasts from the 1940s and interprets them in hopes of highlighting the importance of the brave reporters who risked their lives to create them.

Please click here to see her fallen hero profile of Private Saaga.

Chow hopes students will understand the importance of news sources to those with family in the military and connect the impact of larger events in World War II with the more personal stories and experiences of those who reported on it firsthand. Chow's lesson plan is hosted on along with those of the 17 other teachers who participated in Understanding Sacrifice.

Please click here to read Maile Chow's personal notes about the journey.

Teachers selected local American service members who lost their lives in northern Europe. Through months of intense study and in-depth research, the teachers uncovered the story of their fallen hero while developing a broader understanding of the campaigns and battles in which they fought. The group then traveled through northern Europe, from the United Kingdom to France to the Netherlands and Belgium to visit America's overseas cemeteries and to walk the battlegrounds where these men gave their lives.

"National History Day is always looking for new and engaging ways to demonstrate the power of history," said NHD Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. "This partnership with the American Battle Monuments Commission and the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University allowed us to take 18 extraordinary teachers to battlefields and memorials of northern Europe."

NHD is a non-profit education organization in College Park, MD. Established in 1974, NHD offers year-long academic programs that engage over half a million middle- and high-school students around the world annually in conducting original research on historical topics of interest.