School project ends up on air in Japan

Published 11:42 am Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Trinity student Sara-Margaret Auerbach was assigned a project two years ago in her history class. At the time, she had no idea that her school project would end up on a documentary that was aired in December in Japan.

While in the 10th grade, Sara-Margaret’s teacher, Lucy Thrasher, assigned a project to interview a war veteran and to include a full transcript that had to be at least 30 minutes long. After the project was completed, the class sent their projects to The Library of Congress where the information was cataloged.

Jump to two years later and Midori Yanagihara, an interviewer for the Japanese Public Television, was looking for a veteran to interview for their segment on Manchuria (Hulatao) during and after the war. They went to The Library of Congress and found Sara-Margaret’s report on her grandfather, Thomas L. Maynard. Being the only veteran from the south, the television crew chose Lt. Maynard.

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Midori and her crew flew into Bainbridge, Ga., and interviewed Lt. Maynard in his living room. They filmed Sara-Margaret sitting on the couch with her grandfather thumbing through his yearbook from the U.S.S. Catoctin, which was a flagship that carried Admiral Daniel Barbey. Lt. Maynard told the Japanese television crew how he was shot at while commanding an amphibious force into Hulatao to pick up the Chinese 13th Army.

The documentary was aired in December in Japan. This was a wonderful experience for Sara-Margaret and it just goes to show that your school projects will pay off and make a difference in the lives of others … and sometimes, other countries!