National WWII Museum’s Expressions of America takes SCC faculty and students back in time
Published 7:28 am Wednesday, March 1, 2023
NEW ORLEANS—While the Advanced Placement (AP) American History students were in class with APUSH teacher Carly Flynn, principal Courtney Millet walks in and offers a field trip that would turn the school year around for the seven lucky students: a journey to the National World War II Museum to view the Expressions of America show. With the promise of a marvelous light show accompanied by a filling dinner and talented actors, they hastily agreed to go. With that, on a December night, fifteen people (eight of them being Social Studies teachers) packed into a bus and headed on their way into the city to travel decades back.
When they arrived, the workers treated them with wonderful hospitality, and after taking a few group photos, they headed to dinner. It was a three-course meal consisting of brown butter cauliflower bisque, a choice between fillet mignon and pan-seared salmon, and Bob Hope’s lemon meringue pie made from an authentic recipe from the 1940s USO Cookbook. “The steak was easily my favorite,” AP student Aiden Ocmond commented. “It was so perfectly cooked that when I bit into it, it was like butter. Whatever people didn’t eat I finished off; it was just so good.”
After dinner, the crew made their way to a performance put on by three skillful cast members. They expressed the effect that the war had on the everyday lives of Americans all around the nation, displaying men being drafted, women taking up work to support their families, and children adventuring to find metal pieces for scrap drives. To finish it off, they harmonized together with the tune of “We’ll Meet Again,” by Vera Lynn, ending the short skit with a bittersweet tone.
Finally, once they were seated in an outside area, a dazzling light show began to narrate all of the details of the war. Many people like Bob Hope, a comedian in the 40’s, were often portrayed cheering many soldiers up as a way of encouraging them to keep high spirits, and there were continuous stories of all of the citizens in America working together to support the cause. Katherine Bergeron, another AP student, stated, “Seeing the light show at the World War II Museum was definitely one of the coolest experiences of my life. The story of the war was portrayed so beautifully and was so full of emotion. I also loved it because I was able to enjoy it alongside my friends.” Once the illuminated story came to a close, some felt absolutely awestruck while others had to wipe tears from their eyes from the emotion.