I am watching the amazing movie Paper Clips for what must be the 10th time. This incredible movie tells the story of a little idea that became a tribute to the Holocaust and its survivors. As described on their website, Paper Clips tells this story:
Whitwell, TN is a small, rural community of less than two thousand people nestled in the mountains of Tennessee. Its citizens are almost exclusively white and Christian. In 1998, the children of Whitwell Middle School took on an inspiring project, launched out of their principal's desire to help her students open their eyes to the diversity of the world beyond their insulated valley. What happened would change the students, their teachers, their families and the entire town forever… and eventually open hearts and minds around the world.
If you have not seen this documentary, it is playing this month on HBO and can be seen many times during the coming weeks. I think the most enduring part of this story is that the Whitwell Middle School students and teachers ultimately selected and housed some of the millions of paper clips collected in a rail car used to transport Jews during the Holocaust.
This incredible story is an important lesson and should be viewed by every age group from the Greatest Generation to today's students.
[Note: My wife's family's roots are deep in this part of Tennessee (since the 1600s). They were among the families that founded Lenoir City, TN].