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Medal of Honor Research Project

by Julia Fontenot

This school year the Eighth Graders of Sacred Heart Elementary took on a major project involving the Internet and traditional research sources. Each student spent five months researching and reading the stories of many of the approximately 3,402 Medal of Honor recipients and then put together a booklet highlighting the ten that they found most interesting or inspiring.  Among choices for inclusion in their booklet certain criteria had to be met.  Each set of ten recipients had to have at least one serviceman from the Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the Air Force.  Moreover, the list had to include an African American recipient, a Hispanic recipient, an Oriental recipient, a non-Christian or non-combatant recipient, and the one woman or some other special recipient. One particular Medal of Honor recipient was named each student’s ”Most Inspiring”.  Then the list had to span across at least five wars or military campaigns. Originally composed well-documented essays were presented on each MOH recipient as well as an essay that is a personal expression of what constitutes true courage or valor. Artwork depicting the individual act of bravery accompanied each story as well as a picture of the recipient taken off the Internet. 

The booklet represents a major commitment of each student to research, writing, time management skills, and knowledge about this area in American History. Years from now each booklet will be a treasured memento of their work in the eighth grade.  At the conclusion of this project each student should have grown academically as well as in appreciation of those men who went ”Above and Beyond the Call of Duty.”  Our Nation’s youth should admire and honor these American Heroes. As it has been said, ”Poor is the Nation that has no heroes, but beggared is that Nation that has and forgets them.” 

We at Sacred Heart Elementary would like to thank the Evangeline Parish Public Library for loaning us some research materials for use in our classroom for the duration of the Medal of Honor Project. Having these books available everyday helped the sixty students share the limited sources as fairly as possible as well as extending the time for their use. Many students stayed after school until 4:00 PM to work on their projects. As an historian and teacher, I would like to add that this research project was in the planning stage for a long time and the end result has gone far beyond my best hopes. I believe that even more than just guiding my students along the educational paths that this effort provided, their souls have been touched and they truly have come to an understanding of the heroism and sacrifice of all of these Medal of Honor recipients. Meeting Mr. Jeff DeBlanc was an experience I believe they will always remember.  I feel that in having my students work very hard on this research project, I have fulfilled every teacher’s dream and ”I have touched the future.”  


The stories from these pages are also prepared in .pdf and Word® format for those who would like to print them in booklet form.  

Click HERE for the .pdf File
2.69 MB

Click HERE for a .zip WORD® File
3.56 MB

Either of these files may take up to 5 minutes to download, but when that process is complete you can easily print one or even MULTIPLE copies.  



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