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Class speaker on Vietnam War was excellent

May 25, 2018
Lake Placid News

To the editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to send a public thank-you to Bernie Baillargeon for his kindness in taking time to address the Lake Placid 11th-grade English classes on the subject of the Vietnam War era. The students are reading "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien, and Mr. Baillargeon drew on his firsthand knowledge to help the students understand a difficult time in our nation's history. His recollections relating to his decision to enlist, his experience in Vietnam itself and the time immediately following his return to the United States helped the students understand a very important and confusing era. Not only did he share his own memories and beliefs; he recognized and respected the beliefs of others, despite difficulties he incurred upon his return home. In this time of perpetually questioning the authenticity of sources, it was a relief to have Mr. Baillargeon's firsthand knowledge and observations of the period's different perspectives.

Mr. Baillargeon claims not to be a strong public speaker; however, he kept a class full of 16- and 17-year-olds riveted - not an easy thing to do. He was thoughtful, funny and poignant. We are fortunate to have someone like Bernie Baillargeon in our community - someone who is willing to donate his time and experience in expanding the understanding of our students.

Again, thank you for speaking to our classes, Mr. Baillargeon, and also, thank you for serving.

John Mullane

11th-grade English teacher

Lake Placid Middle/High School

Lake Placid



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