Barker Middle School’s Student Council on Saturday, April 13th, conducted video interviews of four Korean War Veterans. These four veterans were invited by the Student Council so that their legacy and sacrifices in the Korean War could be preserved and learned by future generations. Veterans that were interviewed were: Ed Werner of Michigan City, Indiana; Carl Grose of Valparaiso, Indiana; Jim Toutloff of LaPorte, Indiana; and Harold Broertjes of Hammond, Indiana.
Barker’s Student Council acted as oral historians connecting the gap between the region’s generations. The Korean War is often remembered as the “forgotten war”, however, Barker’s Student Council wants to help in any way to have our veterans sacrifices honored and remembered. Barker 8th grader and Student Council President Kayla Campbell, conducted the video interviews. She was assisted by 7th grader and Student Council Historian Heavenly Thompkins, who ran the camcorder equipment. The Student Council also digitally archived letters and photographs that the veterans brought in from their time in the service. 8th grade Student Council members Kendra Lamberg and Skylar Henderson ran the scanning equipment and digitally documented these primary sources. Davida Barney, Nelly Serrano, and Violet Murphy all assisted in guiding the veterans to the various interview and archiving stations and engaged in conversations with the veterans to learn first hand about their war experiences.
All of the veterans video interviews will be submitted to the Korean War Legacy Foundation. The Korean War Legacy Foundation collects Korean War veteran interviews from all around the world. They currently have over 1200 veteran interviews. The Korean War Legacy Foundation uses these veteran interviews to create veteran profiles for teachers around the world to use in their classroom lesson plans. All the interviews are transcribed, edited to classroom appropriate clips, and tagged by meta-data. Due to the Student Council’s efforts, our Northwest Indiana Korean War veterans will now be represented on this website’s archives. Barker’s Student Council sponsor Mariah Pol, is a Teacher Ambassador with the Korean War Legacy Foundation and helps to create curriculum used by the veterans as primary source material in the classroom.