Alston Middle School
Summerville, South Carolina
Normandy was the beginning of an end. The war did not end with the storming of the beaches of Normandy. That had been my narrative for far too long. “Allies take over beaches. Victory in Europe day. Now, let’s turn our attention to the Pacific.” I learned the importance of talking to my students about how the Allies got ready for Normandy and about all the work that has to be done AFTER you get the beaches.
At the Normandy museum, I saw several photos of jubilant Parisians welcoming the Allies at the liberation of France. The soldiers were greeted with cries of joy and tears of gratitude. 70 years later, looking at those same images, I had a moment where I was in silent awe and reverence and cried. I cried about how painful war is. I cried about the dreams of a generation lost. I cried for the extreme humility I felt at being in the same place that many great men, heroes, had been before.
Applications are currently being accepted for World War II in the Mediterranean. Click here for more information and an application. The application deadline is midnight on Friday, September 4, 2015.