Thompson Sixth Grade Center students reenact the D-Day invasion at Larry Simmons Stadium. (Contributed)
Thompson Sixth Grade Center students reenact the D-Day invasion at Larry Simmons Stadium. (Contributed)

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Sixth-graders reenact D-Day invasion

Published 11:19am Tuesday, March 19, 2013

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Students at Thompson Sixth Grade Center recently got a hands-on feel for one of the United States’ most significant historical events at Alabaster’s Larry Simmons Stadium.

The school’s social studies department organized the D-Day reenactment to give students a better feel for the odds American soldiers faced when storming Omaha beach on June 6, 1944.

“(Social studies teacher) Mr. (Steven) Benton was sort of the driving force behind the idea,” said TSGC Principal Dr. Wesley Hester. “They always try to create hands-on, informative ways for the kids to relive history.”

During the event, each social study class split into two groups – one representing the Allied forces and the other representing the Axis forces. The students representing the Axis forces stood in the stadium’s bleachers and used pingpong balls and dodge balls to defend the bleachers against the students representing the Allied forces.

The students representing the Allied forces began at simulated amphibious vehicles in the football field and advanced toward the bleachers. The track in front of the bleachers was littered with debris to simulate the obstacles the Allied soldiers had to overcome.

“The kids had a lot of fun, but it also gave them a small glimpse of how serious that day was,” Hester said.

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