Letter to the Editor - June 20, 2019
Father offers thanks to WWII veteran for sharing his story with students at DIS
The seventh grade class at the Daniel Island School recently had the privilege of hearing the tale of Staff Sergeant Alan Moskin, who was 18 years old in 1944 when he joined the United States Army to battle the Nazis. Still sprite as ever at 93, Moskin told a riveting story of his personal experiences in basic training, the raw details of hand-to-hand combat, and the horrors of liberating Gunskirchen Concentration Camp.
Moskin weaves a story of unvarnished details, including his encounters with racism from some of his fellow basic training brothers, as well as the gory, raw details of causing and witnessing death up close. He did not spare these kids from hearing the truth, including language that’s very hard to hear in this day and age.
The irony of the racism and bigotry he encountered in the Army is not lost on Moskin, as he revealed the moral of his story at the very end, which was this: his generation went to fight the Nazis, whose philosophies and tenets were based in total bigotry, and Moskin’s generation was not able to successfully fight it at home. He personally challenged the young people in his audience to be the true Greatest Generation by eradicating bigotry in our world. That if bigotry is defeated, then something like the Holocaust would never happen again.
Thank you to Sergeant Moskin for sharing his story with my child. Hearing visceral stories from those who survived the Jim Crow era, battled for civil rights of all kinds, fought terrorism and other of our gravest human challenges empowers our children to be the harbingers of change.