A look into the past

Angel Gingras, Contributer

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Calvert High School students were able to get a peek into history in mid-December when they traveled to Loudon Park National Cemetery in Baltimore to participate in an in-depth study of the Korean War.

The students toured the cemetery and learned about Charles Scalion, a major in the Korean War who worked for the Leaflet and Loudspeaker Company.

After studying historical documents as well as a eulogy for the veteran, which was presented by Calvert High School history teacher Amie Dryer, the students gained insight into the life of Scalion.

The trip was coordinated by Dryer and Calvert High School Media Specialist Donna Mignardi. Dryer is part of a program with National History Day and the National Cemetery Association, in which she was able to research and present a eulogy about a Korean War veteran who is buried at Loudon Park.

“I chose to study Charles Scalion because he had a lot of accomplishments throughout his life,” Dryer said, “and also served in World War II before serving in the Korean War, which fascinates me.”

The students began their historical journey with a tour of the cemetery by National Cemetery Association Director Michael Brophy, who guided the class through the most notable burials at the cemetery. He also explained the different grave markings based on when and where the veterans served.

“I really liked the tour because it was a gateway to Charles Scalion and his role in the Korean War,” said Josephine Hughes, a senior at Calvert High.

At the conclusion of Brophy’s tour, Dryer gave her students documents — which were threats printed by the Leaflet and Loudspeaker Company as a deterrent to stop the spread of communism — to look over before she presented her eulogy.

“I chose to do this because I don’t want the Korean War to be known as the ‘forgotten war’ to the students at Calvert High School,” Dryer said.

“This experience has supplemented them with knowledge and an opportunity they may not have gotten otherwise.”

Dryer added she was thankful to the American Legion of Calvert County for sponsoring the trip, and National History Day for allowing her the opportunity to study the Korean War and to bring her students along with her.

With the information they learned about Scalion and the Korean War, along with hours of audio recordings from the cemetery, Dryer, Mignardi and some students are planning to create a podcast to be entered in National Public Radio’s podcast challenge.

 

 

The writer is part of the Young Journalists Program, a partnership between Calvert County Public Schools and The Calvert Recorder. This article was originally published in the Calvert Recorder on February 6, 2019

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