Dressed in green military apparel and a brown military hat, Arn Kind brought up Greenbush-Middle River High School student Dylan Heggedal. He dressed Heggedal in fighter pilot apparel– black jacket, black headwear, goggles, and a white scarf– and directed him to sit down in a chair and move side to side and forward and backward with the motion of his pretend World War I fighter plane. Using sound effects, Kind had Heggedal successfully shoot down two planes, before having him get shot down and fictiously dying, coming up eight shot-down-planes short of becoming an “ace” pilot.
“Anytime you can get people up in front, actively involved in their learning, it’s going to much more efficient then it is reading something out of a book,” Kind said.
Kind visited the Greenbush Community Center on April 19 to deliver another one of his “Historical Experiences” presentations to a crowd of all ages, including David Blazek’s Greenbush-Middle River High School U.S. History class. While there, Kind gave a World War I presentation, in honor of the 100 year anniversary of America’s entry into it, displaying flags, model airplanes, and war posters, equipment, weaponry, and apparel– jackets and helmets– and using power point slides, video clips, and sound effects. He concluded his presentation by also showcasing Minnesota’s contributions in this war.
The Northwest Regional Library asked Kind if he would do a World War I presentation and he agreed to put one together. He provided eight presentations throughout the area from April 18-April 21 through the Northwest Regional Library System and a Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment grant.
Kind provides various living history presentations, including on the American Revolution, Fur Trade, American Civil War, Pirates, and more. For more info on Kind’s different presentations, visit historicalexperiences.org.
Asked why it’s important to teach history, Kind explained how it allows people to learn from past mistakes.
“We’re proud of our history for the most part, but America’s got some very despicable parts of their history too, parts we are not happy with, for example our treatment of the Native Americans and the dispossessing them of their land,” Kind said. “And so it’s important that our kids, future generations, learn both the good and the bad parts of our history, so that they don’t repeat the mistakes that are the bad parts of our history.”
To see the complete story, read the May 4 issue of The Tribune in print or online.