The following is a collection of essays written by Reavis High School students as a part of the Final Research Project for Brian Murphy’s War Literature class. Students visited the National Veterans Art Museum as a part of their final research projects. The essays include artwork analysis from the NVAM collection as well as reflections from a Veteran Interview with Ned Ricks, U.S. Army Air Calvary, Vietnam War and NVAM volunteer. Click on the students names to open PDFs of their Winds of War essays!
“As a teacher at Reavis High School, I wrote a semester-long course for senior English credit entitled Winds of War. The course exposes students to the subject of war through literature (2 novels and a memoir) and other art forms (visual arts, films, music). I take students twice each year to the NVAM to view and reflect upon work and listen to a speaker. I occasionally am able to bring speakers into the classroom as well.
The student population derives from a mostly working-class community and has a higher than average representation of immigrants and children of immigrants. Many of our students have family members in the military and 1 or 2 from the course usually go on to serve in the military as well.”
-Brian Murphy, History Teacher at Reavis High School
Reavis High School is located in Burbank on Chicago’s southwest side and began their partnership with the NVAM in May 2012 as part of a War Literature class taught by Brian Murphy.
Served in U.S. Army, Vietnam
Alabaster and Bronze
“P.O.W”, or “Prisoner of War”, is a scuplture that shows how frightening and tough it was being a Prisoner of War was. It shows the troubles of P.O.W. from the tightness of the rope to the blindfold. Both restrained the man from his freedoms of being a human being and kept a captive. With the ropes around him, he is being restrained from being to move freely , in which takes his freedom of movement away. The blindfold takes the man’s sight, which takes the man away from the light of freedom and puts him in the dark. I can sense the emotions of pain, sorrow, and fear being protrayed by the sculpture. The pain is expressed by the ropes being so tight that it makes an indent into his ribcage and the blood trickling down his back and shoulders. The sorrow is from him being restrained from his senses and the pain he went through. The scuplture may seem as if he is not scared, but deep down he must be filled with fear of might happen because he is a prisoner. I can relate to this situation, having fear deep down and not trying to express and keep it in. “P.O.W.” was an amazing piece of Veteran’s Artwork.