To Invade, or Not To Invade ?

Imagine reliving the history of the 1980s—from the invasion of Grenada to the fall of the Berlin Wall—through the eyes of a president. Local students were recently invited to do just that.

By Anna Hart, FMHS ComTec Academy student

The Juniors of ComTec Academy from Frazier Mountain High School visited the Reagan Library recently. The different rooms in the library touched on varying stages in Ronald Reagan’s life. The knowledgeable tour guides were always willing to answer questions.

Air Force One, which President Reagan and several other presidents through George W. Bush used during their terms as president, was one of the first things seen. Someone could have lived quite comfortably on that plane, which had a spacious section for the president and first lady and another for the members of the cabinet. Some students said that touring the plane was their favorite part of the trip.

The class was led outside to where a 12-foot tall piece of the Berlin Wall stood. One side was cold and white and the other was painted with bright flowers and butterflies. We were told this displayed the stark contrast between those living inside the walls of East Berlin and those who were free on the West Berlin side.

Then came the part I liked best. Students were invited to reenact a critical moment in the Reagan presidency through role play. Each student was given the name of either a member of President Reagan’s cabinet, or of To Invade, or Not To Invade ? someone who served in his military command. Our mission was to simulate the decision process made by each of those positions during the invasion of Grenada.

The groups were then split into two different rooms that mirrored the Oval Office or a command submarine. The groups worked together to solve problems that arose during this real-life crisis confronted by President Reagan.

When it was time for the final decisions to be made, all the students were anxious to know if the decision at which they arrived was correct.

For many of the students, this interactive challenge was the highlight of the day. The Reagan Library is a unique way to experience history. It allows people to relive the exciting era of Ronald Reagan’s presidency.

This is part of the April 29, 2011 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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