This past summer the senior class read Tim O’Brien’s collection of stories called The Things They Carried for summer reading. As the book’s stories are set primarily during the Vietnam War, Mr. Travis brought the students down to the American Freedom Museum for a visual depiction of the various gear and functions of American soldiers during the war. Mrs. Bynum, the curriculum coordinator for the museum, created a “going on mission” scenario in which she suited up a student in the uniform and gear of a soldier. The result? The students realized just how cumbersome–and weighty–a soldier’s gear is, and they learned a bit about the very real danger of running a combat mission. Activities like these help the literature come to life for our students, and we’re thankful we have such an incredible museum to illustrate our past.