By Nicholas Kelley
Cougar News Blog
While most students are just learning about history from books, Cambria Coughlin brought in a World War II German banner and other relics to show to her class for social studies.
The banner is a bright red and the ends have swastikas like most Nazi banners.
“It’s kind of cool, because we are learning about World War II things in class,” Coughlin said. “It’s learning about history in real life, and the cool thing is about the banner is I get to (learn) about my grandfather’s past, too, with World War II,” said Coughlin.
Social Studies teacher Sheryl Anderson was also excited about seeing the relics be brought in by Coughlin. Anderson thought it was quite interesting and beneficial to the students.
“I think that seeing primary source information makes history more real for kids; actually for everyone,” said Anderson. “These particular artifacts belonged to a student’s family, so that makes it even more personal.”
Many students inside Coughlin’s class were also pretty excited upon seeing the banner and other relics.
“It was pretty dang cool to actually see some of the things she bought,” said eighth grader Peni Latuselu.
Coughlin’s grandfather, John Daniel Coughlin was a engineer gunner for the United States Army Air Force during World War II.
“He helped bomb Germany, Italy, and other Axis targets,” said Cambria. “He was originally assigned 50 missions but was shot down on his 24th.”
After being shot down on his 24th mission, John was then captured by German and Hungarian troops with the rest of his bomber crew. He was put into the Stalas Luft IV Prisoner of War camp.
John was later liberated by allied troops towards the end of the war. While leaving Germany, he picked up a lot of WWII relics and brought it home with him including the banner.
“It’s amazing, I love learning about history and knowing that somebody in my family was part of it,” Cambria said.