Portage County teacher remembers WWI soldier

PORTAGE COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A social studies teacher in central Wisconsin recently got a special opportunity to remember a Wisconsin native who fought in WWI.

Joseph Nowinski teaches in Almond, a small community in Portage County.

He was one of only 18 teachers from the U.S. who went to France earlier this summer to commemorate 100 years since the end of WWI.

Each teacher presented a eulogy about a soldier. Nowinski's eulogy was about Sylvester Mashinski, who was also from Portage County.

He fought in the war, died from the Spanish flu, and is buried in France.

"Every name is a person with a background, who fought in the war," Nowinski said. "We forget that. So this was one way we could bring that home again."

Some of Mashinski's relatives still live in Portage County. 

Nowinski says he will share his experience in France with his students this fall, to give them a better understanding of the past and the present. 

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