Reavis High School: Winds of War

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!

Alexis Z. // Daniel M. // Daniel P // Ivette G // John G.

Kamil G. // Marcin C. // Matt P. // Pawel Z. // Yaritza H

“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.

Reflection on Meeting Ned Ricks and Walter Reed by Cristian N.

Meeting Ned & WalterWhen Walter Reed gave us his background and experience in the Holocaust, I felt as if he impacted my full view on war. He told us their is never a winner, only losses due to war. Every person who is killed, is murdered and it does not matter if you were doing to protect your country it is still an act of murder. When Walter said this I felt as if he had opened my eyes to see clearly now. Ned Ricks is also an amazing Veteran, but his look on war and having an army was seemingly positive and something that we needed. Both of these great veterans were opposites of each other. I learned from both from these two amazing people.