C. V. Cummings Chapel Hill Post 9100 is very pleased to announce our 2018 awardee of the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award. We have selected Ms. Robin McMahon, Smith Middle School, Chapel Hill. As our local winner, Ms. McMahon was awarded $100 and local post support for her “NC to Normandy 2019” project.
Her nominating officer wrote, “The headline in the Smith Middle School newsletter said it all. It proclaimed “Veterans Day weekend 2018 will long be remembered by six Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools students as the official launch of their “NC to Normandy 2019” campaign to bring two World War II veterans back to Normandy, France, for the 75th Commemoration Ceremonies next June.”
Yes, Robin McMahon, a local French teacher has formed another group of current and former students for a trip to Normandy and Belgium. The students will escort two World War II veterans who served in Europe on a journey to the beaches of Normandy and the D-Day battle zones. They will stay with local French and Belgium families and relive their wartime experience, but this time as honored guests.
This is not the first trip for Robin McMahon and her students. It is the third trip that I have had the pleasure of personally supporting through our local Veterans of Foreign Wars Chapel Hill Post 9100. Several of our members have gone to France as part of her program. What makes Ms. McMahon’s efforts so very unique is that she does not treat the event as a week away from school on a field trip. It is more than a student adventure.
She insists that her students plan, fund, and take the trip as a special project that honors others and involves veterans. They are required to raise all funds needed—at least $20,000. The students work with private groups, veterans groups, and through the media to raise the money. They plan every part of the trip with the focus on the veterans’ and their experience. Finally, they report on their trip by creating a formal video project that documents the journey from concept to ‘mission accomplished’.”
The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 9100, is a strong advocate of Ms. McMahon and her students. We look forward to assisting her and helping with project funding.