Today is Memorial Day in the United States, the day we remember the nation’s war dead. We’ll let some students from one of the most selective colleges in the country — the United States Military Academy at West Point — help us in our remembrance:
❡ Little lessons: Can your homeschool students find West Point, New York, on a map and explain its significance? Although the name “West Point” is now a shorthand name for our national military academy, “West Point” proper actually refers to the high point of land that projects into the Hudson River just a few miles north (upstream) from New York City. The point forces the Hudson to make a sharp bend, and artillery placed there can easily control all traffic on the river. West Point was first fortified during the American Revolution, and it has been occupied by the United States Army ever since. The Hudson River–Lake Champlain–Richelieu River corridor between New York City and Montreal (on the St. Lawrence River) was one of the most contested military transportation routes on the North American continent for almost 200 years. Plate 44 in your River Houses atlas (riverhouses.org/books) will show you the location of West Point and let you and your students get a sense of its geographical importance.
What other holidays or anniversaries will you be marking in your homeschool in the weeks ahead?