Madison Taylor of Maranacook Community High School has been accepted into the prestigious 'Normandy: Sacrifice for Freedom® Albert H. Small Student & Teacher Institute.' Along with Shane Gower, Maranacook Community High School teacher, Taylor will be doing a year-long course of study that concludes with a journey to Normandy, France to honor a WWII Silent Hero® who died during or after the D-Day landings.

Madison Taylor and Shane Gower joined us on the Moose Morning Show to talk about this amazing honor.

Gower and Taylor will select a 'Silent Hero' from the area who is memorialized at the Normandy American Cemetery and then spend a year uncovering the life story of this Silent Hero through readings, historical research, and primary sources such as war records, draft cards, or interviews with descendants. Overseas travel, courses, materials, and even room and board are paid for through the generosity of Albert H. Small. They will join 14 other student and teacher teams from around the country on this educational journey.

This June the student and teacher will travel to Washington, D.C. to finish their research with help from the National Archives, historians, and college professors. While in D.C. they will tour the World War II Memorial, attend a dinner sponsored by the White House Historical Association. They will also prepare for the voyage of a lifetime, their journey to Normandy, France. They will stand on the beaches of D-Day, walking in the footsteps of their chosen 'Silent Hero.'

After visiting museums, sites of historic battles, and churches that were used as field hospitals, the group will visit the Normandy American Cemetery. There, Taylor will deliver a graveside eulogy for the 'Silent Hero' she spent the year researching.

Taylor, under the guidance of Mr. Gower, will create a memorial webpage that documents the story and sacrifice of their chosen 'Silent Hero.' These pages live on as a digital memorial to the brave men who are memorialized at the Normandy American Cemetery. After participating in the program, Gower and Taylor will be charged with presenting the story of their 'Silent Hero' to local schools, community groups, and veterans’ organizations.