Weatherford Democrat

April 30, 2014

VBA students honor greatest generation with museum


Weatherford Democrat

Special to the Democrat

Victory Baptist Academy is proud to present Beyond Courage: World War II Memorial Museum, open to the public Tuesday, May 6 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. All displays will be created by junior high and high school students, who have been researching and developing their projects for weeks.

Many students tied their subject matter into their own interests, such as sophomore Robbie Catuto, who chose to research the Manhattan Project because of his interest in science.

“We were learning about nuclear chemistry at the same time [our teacher] was introducing the project, so since they were kind of related I thought it would be cool,” Catuto said. “I hope [others] learn more about what the Manhattan Project was, about the people who worked on it, and about how it changed the outcome of the war in the Pacific.”

Sophomore Cheyenne Graham said she hopes her exhibit on the Bataan Death March will have an impact on her fellow students.

“It’s important to learn about history so the important things that happened don’t happen again; that history doesn’t repeat itself,” she said. “We take lessons out of what happened in the past. I also don’t want them to get the idea that the Japanese were terrible people. This was a different time.”

Like Graham, junior Tyler Graves also believes his display has a message for today’s audience. Graves studied Louis Zamperini, an Air Force lieutenant whose plane went down over the Pacific Ocean. He drifted in a lifeboat for 47 days before being captured by the Japanese and held in a prison camp for two years. Zamperini became a Christian after the war and traveled to Japan, where he met with and forgave his captors.

“If he can forgive people for getting him to the point of death and torturing him for almost two years, we can forgive people for the little things they do to us day to day,” Graves said.

Beyond Courage: World War II Memorial Museum will be held in the Victory Baptist Academy gym. Immediately before the museum, VBA will present its spring concert, featuring performances from elementary and secondary students. The concert will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Victory Baptist Church, located at 1311 E. Bankhead in Weatherford.