Skip to main content

News

Freedom Committee of Orange County Brings Living History to Students
Posted 10/7/21

Veteran with studentsThe Freedom Committee of Orange County (FCOC) continues to bring history to life in Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) high schools.

Since 1999, NMUSD students have had the opportunity to hear real-life stories of historical events directly from veterans who served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the Middle East. Students hear first hand accounts of Pearl Harbor, D-Day, experiences of being Prisoners of War, and much more. In addition to hearing about experiences, students participate in small group interviews with the veterans and subsequently create veteran documentary projects. 

Veteran with studentsThe Living History program is presented at all middle and high schools in NMUSD, with thousands of students having participated in the program. While the intention is to connect students with history in a real, tangible way, an added benefit is that participating veterans become more connected to their community. For some veterans it is the first time they have spoken about their experiences or heard a genuine “thank you for your service.” 

“Through this program, high school students have the opportunity to understand history in a new and more powerful way,” said Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education Kerrie Torres. “It’s a life changing experience for everyone involved,” she said.    

The FCOC was founded in 1995, on the 50th anniversary of WWII by Jack Hammett, with the goal of  “passing the torch of liberty onto future generations.” NMUSD is pleased to have partnered with the FCOC for more than 20 years and is excited to continue to offer the program this school year.