Group launches app for World War II Memorial in DC - FOX 35 News Orlando

Group launches app for World War II Memorial in DC

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WASHINGTON -

A group of World War II veterans visiting the memorial to that conflict in Washington, D.C. was introduced to a new mobile app.

Their teachers were seventh and eighth grade students from D.C.'s Alice Deal Middle School. In turn, the veterans shared a few stories from their time in the war some 70 years ago.

The vets, who arrived on an "honor flight," came from Central Missouri. A non-profit group flies the vets to D.C. for free to give the old, ex-warriors a chance to see the memorial.

After introducing themselves, the kids whipped out their smartphones and tablets to show the veterans the new mobile app for the World War II Memorial. The portable application gives an overview of the memorial, and explains much of the history of the conflict, including pictures of American troops in combat. It was developed for the Trust for the National Mall, a non-profit group.

Through the app, the students learned about the mid-20th century war. Seventh grader Leah Pearcy pointed toward a wall of gold stars, which is part of the memorial.

"There's 4,000 stars," explained Pearcy. "And one star equals 100 soldiers [who died] ... altogether that equals 400,000 soldiers and that's just the Americans. Just think about the Germans, the Italians, the British, and the French altogether."

The local students also got to see pictures of what these vets looked like as teenagers (or men in their early 20s) during the four-year conflict. The students then listened to a couple of war stories.

94-year-old Fay Holt told the kids: although he was mostly a military policeman during World War II, he did experience combat in Italy, which he told the children was very frightening. They listened with eyes opened wide.

Navy veteran Charlie Beckman said he was glad to see the kids studying about World War II.

"Everyone should know about history," said Beckman, who is 86 years old. "And World War II has got a lot of history to it."

In 1945, Beckman volunteered to join the Navy. He was 17 years old at the time.


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