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North Korean parallel inspires Caroline County students

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CAROLINE COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) -- While the President of North Korea rattles his saber and threatens the world with nuclear weapons, students 7,000 miles away in Caroline County are learning about the growing tensions from a source they can't see, touch or hear.

A little extra credit goes a long way. In this case around the globe. Members of Caroline Middle School's History Club are getting a geography lesson. With the help of some experts at Fort A.P. Hill, teacher Sara Gibson and her students discovered last fall the invisible line separating North and South Korea zips right in front of their school off of Route 207.

"It is my job, my goal and my objective to bring history to life for my students," says U.S. History teacher Sara Gibson. "It runs around the world and nobody ever pays any attention to it and it's white under our feet."

The History Club began their 38th Parallel Project as a way to honor Korean War veterans who served in what is widely known as "The Forgotten War."

"We have talked about the Korean War," says 7th grader Cory Jones. "As people say if you don't know history it will repeat itself."

Sixty years after the end of the fighting and with North Korea's threats to test nuclear weapons the student's class project is taking on a more serious tone. They realize what their learning is life and death.

"It makes you wonder," says 7th grader Aubrey Reese. "People lived through this and what if we have to live through war it's scary."

With history in the form of the invisible 38th Parallel literally at their doorstep the students want to make their mark. Students hatched a plan to build a historic marker near their school detailing their efforts.

"When I found out I wanted to join the club that much more and being a part of history," says 14 year-old Andrew Buck.

The middle-school students made their case to the Board of Supervisors recently. In the end, members of the board not only voted in favor of a marker, they agreed to pick up the thirty five hundred dollar tab as well.

"It feels good to know that I've done something," says 13 year-old Savannah Dyer. "Eventually when I have children or grandchildren I can tell them I did this when I was young 13 years old. That I did this and you can make a change you can make a change to do something.

Now that the board of supervisors has given its final approval to the historic marker, the 38th Parallel Project will culminate with a history marker or plaque going up at the intersection along route 207 in front of Caroline County High School this summer. Students will help build it and a memorial garden. It will be a hands-on history lesson that will last a lifetime.

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