On October 30 and 31, Springville High’s senior English classes participated in a World War l Centenary Commemoration to launch their War literature unit. Five Star Generals Simmons and Rabner led the many students that were “drafted” into Command Post HQ, the library, and given the weapon of choice, a camouflage Army pencil.
After running a lap around the courtyard, our soldiers were given an issued Military Uniform, dog tag, a tin helmet, and a Kit-bag, before being filed back into the library where they sat in their assigned trenches (upside-down tables).
Troops reviewed, assembled, and directed to man/sit in uncomfortable trenches in their issued military uniform, then directed to review a laminated handout while inspecting, swapping, and consuming contents of their Kit-bag. In their Kit-bag, the soldiers were given an assortment of hardtack biscuits, hard sugar candy, Hershey’s chocolate bars, Chiclets, and individual canned, pre-cooked rations.
After settling down, the troops were visited by Sgt. Tritt, whom then displayed different military artifacts, equipment and gear. His humor and intelligence kept the troops entertained and lively as he shared experiences of rookie pranks and initiations.
General Rabner then stole the front with her more than amazing World War l presentation. She used pictures and experiences of her time in Europe where she got to see most of the awestricken sites. Be it the beautiful cemeteries, where the brave soldiers of the US lie, to the posts along the border of France that still stand there today untouched.
During all of their experiences, the troops of English students kept down their thoughts and feelings on a post it note given to them beforehand. They stuck their memoirs onto the WWl “graffiti wall.” Lives were lost as the soldiers draft cards were randomly pulled out of a glass bowl. They are remembered on the “Graffiti Wall” that is now featured in the SHS Library.