Our group of Normandy Scholars is a diverse group from across the US. Students who might not gravitate to one another in school, find themselves bonding over the study of the past, discussing their own research, and engaging with historians:
“On June 21st, everyone is excited: the day has finally come. We are preparing to make the journey to Bayeux, France. While flying over the beaches of France, I could not help but remember the brave men that had served on them and sacrificed themselves for our freedom.
Leading up to this exciting venture, the other Normandy Scholars and I have been attending lectures and engaging in discussions about the Normandy campaign. My favorite lecture discussed the importance of counterintelligence and deception the Allies employed to improve the probability that the Normandy mission would succeed. We participated in exercises such as analyzing year books from the World War II time period and the influence it had on the adolescents.
The reality of finally making it to our destination after many months of research still has not rendered in my mind. Walking through the streets of Bayeux captivate my mind making me wonder what stories they had to tell of the time.
The Normandy program has done even more than build a knowledge of the Normandy mission, but also friendships. Speaking for myself, I was surprised to find that I was making a lot of bonds and friendships with the people around me–something I did not expect. This is something experienced by the men who first entered the service and made such strong brotherhoods. This is just one similarity between the Normandy Scholars and the men who served, and brings us even closer to understanding their sacrifice.”
— Michael Shimek, student, Nebraska