Well, no wonder people don’t have a historical consciousness anymore: schools are now actively preventing it (via Instapundit, as always).

In an effort to refine secondary school curriculum, the new Labour government in Britain is stripping down the traditional curriculum to include more “contemporary” topics, such as debt management, the environment and healthy eating. Fine, great – we all need those, right?

However,  these reforms are being made at the expense of a few topics that are, in my humble opinion, a great deal more important in the long run:

Even Winston Churchill no longer merits a mention … Along with Hitler, Gandhi, Stalin and Martin Luther King, the former prime minister has been dropped from a list of key figures to be mentioned in history teaching.

Excuse me – what? How could you possibly drop Churchill and Hitler from the history lessons? I would understand it in America… well, almost… but in Britain, it’s simply inexcusable. Look how pissed he is:

And really, I would be too. He saved their country, and now he gets this? Outrageous, I say.

Of course, the government has justified it by saying, “Teachers know that they need to mention these pivotal figures. They don’t need to be instructed by law to mention them in every history class.”

No, see, they do. This is how we forget. Perhaps now, less than 100 years after World War II, it is safe to believe that Churchill and Hitler are two figures so monumental to Britain’s history that they could not possibly be omitted from a history class. But what about 100 years from now (if we even make it that long)? If we stop including them now, each successive generation will continue to deemphasize their role as they focus on more “modern” issues, like weight control and debt management. And eventually, who’s left to tell the story of the enormous role these two men played in world history?

This is especially poignant when taken in combination with this story (also thanks to Instapundit). When Churchill himself was on the world stage, it was probably inconceivable to think of a time when there would be only a handful of World War I veterans left in Britain. Now there are three. When these men die, their stories, their experiences die with them.

So what of the time when there are only three remaining veterans of World War II? And when there are none? Who will be left to remember that Churchill and Hitler changed the shape of history, if we don’t continue to teach our children that they did?