Editorial: Help support Kaneland’s upcoming service trip

By on April 11, 2014

A screening of the film “Murph the Protector” will take place in the Kaneland High School auditorium on Friday, April 25, at 7 p.m. to help raise funds for a June service trip to famous World War I and II sites.

Students and adult chaperones who participate in the service trip will work with the American Battlefield Monuments Commission to preserve and maintain American military cemeteries in France.

Admission to the April 25 event is free. Monetary donations to help defray the cost of the trip will be accepted.

The film “Murph the Protector” tells the story of U.S. Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, the leader of the four-man SEAL team depicted in the recent film “Lone Survivor.” Murphy in 2005 was exposed to enemy fire on a mountain top in Afghanistan while attempting to call in a rescue of his team. Murphy was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by then-president George W. Bush in October 2007.

We’ve covered Kaneland service trips in previous years, including the school’s 2011 trip to Northern Virginia and its 2012 trip to Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. This time around, the travel is intercontinental, and will take a number of Kaneland students to places that served as stages for conflicts during the first two world wars.

The trips are far from sightseeing ventures, however. Kaneland students in 2011 worked with the National Park Service (NPS) and did some restoration at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania national battlefields. The group stayed in 1930s-era Civilian Conservation Corps cabins in Prince William National Forest during the trip and cooked for themselves to keep costs down.

In 2012, the service group worked with NPS rangers at Antietam Civil War Battlefield in Maryland. That September marked the 150th anniversary of the battle, so students helped prepare the park for commemoration ceremonies.

In order to minimize costs on the 2012 trip, the group stayed at a youth hostel where sleeping accommodations were “bunk house” style. Students made their own meals in the kitchen.

The service trips are coordinated by Kaneland Social Studies teacher Javier Martinez. For further information regarding the June 2014 service trip, you can reach Martinez at Javier.Martinez@kaneland.org.