The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

The Standard

The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

The Standard

WWI remembered

On November 11, 1918, the guns of World War I fell silent. After four years of fighting, and a death toll of over 16 million, the war had finally ended.

This year marks the centennial of World War I. All over Europe and the United States, special events have been organized to commemorate the war. London in particular will host a series of displays to show remembrance, such as the sea of red poppies surrounding the Tower of London.

The centennial is what prompted Director of Academic Advising Patty Strohm to introduce and lead the Over the Top: World War I Battlefields Alternatives trip earlier this year. “It’s [ the centennial] a huge event for our host country. We live in Europe, so it’s important to do things that are historically significant for our host country, and for Americans,” she said.

Strohm believes that it’s important to remember World War I because of how it started changes in both British and American society. “It spurred a lot of economic activity in the U.S., the field to factory movement started an enormous migration of African Americans from the south to the industrial north.”

Students of the World War I Alternative spent the majority of their time in Ypres, a Belgian city located in the Flemish province of West Flanders. The students were able to experience the trenches and tunnels of various battle-sites first-hand, as well as participate in a post World War I ceremony and visit the Flanders Field Museum.

For many, the trip showed the importance of this year’s centennial.

Alisha Gandhi (’15) expressed how her feelings towards World War I changed after the trip and the importance of the centennial. “Living in America or being American in London, I had never really given it [World War I and the centennial] much thought, but actually standing where battles were fought, it put me more into the situation,” she said. “The soldiers who fought were real people, they all had identities, they all had families.”

Karthik Balasubramanian’s (’17) perspective of World War I also changed over the course of the trip. “I only knew facts about World War I before the trip, but I never knew how the soldiers felt and the struggles they went through,” he said. “People would fake their age because they thought the war would be fast and easy and it was a free trip around the world,” he said.

Along with the World War I assembly ASL will host on November 11, the High School Orchestra will also play a piece from the movie “War Horse” to commemorate the Great War.

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