Front page and front lines

Published 10:17 pm Wednesday, April 8, 2020

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By QuaWanna Bannarbie

My family and I belong to the MCU camp. MCU is better known as a series of American superhero films produced by Marvel Studios based on characters that appear in publications by Marvel Comics. MCU is the acronym for Marvel Cinematic Universe.  We love Marvel characters and their movies. My favorite superhero is Captain America. It is not my fellow veteran status in the U.S. military that draws me to Captain America. Honestly, it is that Chris Evans brings him to life. However, I do believe the ethos that is represented in the Marvel character can be found in most service men and women. When there is a fight to be won, we all want to stand with the commander whose character is just, pragmatic, wise and loves his fellow man.

The comic book character, Captain America, was very popular during the war years of the 1940s.

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I imagine that Americans needed this superhero during the ebbs and flows of World War II. Not much has changed. We love stories of heroic feats when turmoil abounds.

In the Marvel movie, “Captain America: The First Avenger,” Rogers fights his way to the front lines to save his best friend James “Bucky” Barnes because he believes that he can make a difference in the outcome of the war. I am reminded of Capt. Steve Rogers in these past weeks as I read many top stories in major news and media outlets that are sharing the details and descriptions of people who are on the front lines of this pandemic. Over the past weeks, our own local heroes such as Kenny and Charlene Hydock, the ForKids organization, Mildred Hall, the administrators of Kilby Shores Elementary, the Suffolk Public Library and countless others have been front page headliners.

When I noticed that the Suffolk News-Herald was intentionally sharing these stories of front line fighters in our local community, I began reading the front page news to my “students” in my homeschool classroom each day during our morning reading sessions. I encourage parents to share Suffolk News-Herald front pages with your children. Ensure that they understand what is going on in their local community in response to the pandemic. My children and I have used these reading sessions as an opportunity to search out new vocabulary words. Perhaps you may even use one of the articles as primary source material for a document-based question assignment. Our school administration is not the only entity that empowers local parents for this distant learning experience; the local news is a resource also.

The front pages of the New York Times during the 1940s literally made history as the headlines articulated the milestones of World War II. We are living out a moment in history. My children will recall the milestones of this pandemic with memories of the news reports. And when they do, they will remember our reading the newspaper together and remember the Suffolk community soldiers who are carrying out their own personal orders of service. I appreciate that these stories demonstrate to us that it does not take a military assignment to be on the front lines. Like Captain America, we only need a morally fit, personal ethical compass and a strong will to serve.

QuaWanna Bannarbie is an adjunct professor of nonprofit leadership and management with Indiana Wesleyan University, National and Global. Her children attend Suffolk Public Schools. Connect with her via QNikki_Notes or