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Brian Lee, John F. Kennedy Middle School, Cupertino, CA

My D-Day

Imagine waking up extremely early in the morning, to the sound of your shrill alarm clock. You press the snooze button, and shiver in nervousness: because this is your D-Day. Everybody has many D-Days in their lifetime. Ultimately, there will be a time where a person is expected to complete an important task in the face of the unknown. D-Day is not just June 6, 1944, but any day of history that a person must face an ultimate test; my D-Day was February 9, 2014. This was the date of the final tournament for my team’s robotics season. From the very beginning of the season to the end, my team faced many obstacles but in the end we grew from a naive rookie team to a trophy-winning group.

At the very start of the season, my team had no idea what we were doing. I figured that in order to get everybody on the same page, I had to learn all of my teammates’ strengths and weaknesses. Some of the members of my team were great programmers, some great builders, and some great thinkers. Each person was given a job that fit them best for the rest of the season. Comparing this experience to the US during World War II, America was a very powerful country, but was wounded by the Great Depression. America had to find its strengths and weaknesses in order to proceed into the war. This also relates to the US because, just like us, America had to assemble and rally Americans together for a single cause, and set aside their differences. All of our hard work led us to being champions at our regional tournament.

In the second half of the season, we were working extra days nearly every week. The last week before our state qualifiers we worked every night of the week in order to finish finishing touches to our long-term project. The last day of the week we worked until twelve o’clock at night and came to the tournament at six o’clock the next morning. Although I had slept only six hours, excitement coursed through my veins because after five exhausting months, it was my D-Day. Finally, all the hard work completed over five months would be tested in a single day. My palms were sweaty, my legs were shaking, but I took a deep breath. I calmed down, and did what I had learned over the past 150 days. I executed. Just like the soldiers waking up for their D-Day, with pressure on their shoulders, doubts in their mind, and nations across the globe crossing their fingers.

Although our team didn’t make it to the world championships, the experiences we shared with each other and the hard work to drive straight through the unknown was worth a million times more than the winning trophy. From start and end, my team faced the challenges that were ahead of us and gained a prize more valuable than money or a trophy; pride.

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Student Travel – WWII Educational Tours
High school and college students, learn the leadership principles that helped win WWII on a trip to France or during a weeklong residential program in New Orleans. College credit is available, and space is limited.

See You Next Year! HS Yearbooks from WWII
Collected from across the United States, the words and pictures of these yearbooks present a new opportunity to experience the many challenges, setbacks and triumphs of the war through the eyes of America’s youth.

The Victory Gardens of WWII
Visit the Classroom Victory Garden Project website to learn about food production during WWII, find lesson plans and activities for elementary students, get tips for starting your own garden and try out simple Victory Garden recipes!

The Science and Technology of WWII
Visit our new interactive website to learn about wartime technical and scientific advances that forever changed our world. Incorporates STEM principles to use in the classroom.

Kids Corner: Fun and Games!
Make your own propaganda posters, test your memory, solve puzzles and more! Learn about World War II and have fun at the same time.

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