By Lydia Lion
Elm Staff Writer
On Wednesday, Oct. 1, the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience held its opening night for the program “The Real War: America Remembers.” It was comprised of two events, the first being Professor Donald L. Miller’s lecture on the pilots of World War II, which was held at the Norman James Theater. It was followed by the opening of the World War II veterans exhibit at the River Arts Gallery in downtown Chestertown.
Miller is a professor of history at Lafayette College and is one of the country’s leading World War II historians.
The lecture encompassed the parts of WWII that are not generally talked about. He spoke about how WWII was unlike any war that had been fought before. It was a “people’s war” and involved every person in the world. Men, women ,and chilren all played a part in the war effort. “The world stopped during WWII,” Miller said.
The idealization of the greatest generation was also discussed during Miller’s lecture. The greatest generation, a reference to those who fought in WWII, offered new insight into how war affects people. “[There is} no better way to study the human condition as when we are under stress,” said Miller.
During the gallery opening veterans were more than willing to share their stories and give insight into what they experienced. The exhibit, which is made up of interviews with veterans, provides a chance to travel through veteran’s memories. It gives attendees a chance to see what veterans saw and what they went through during the war.
Included in the exhibit were; engineers, pilots, a spy, and the first female marine officer. Each individual was interviewed by WC students in partnership with the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American experience.
Continuing the C.V. Starr Center’s WWII series is a screening of the film “Flags of our Fathers” (2006) on Oct. 19 at 7:00 p.m. in Norman James Theatre.