Steamboat Springs High School
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Wow, this is it – we have reached the end of our journey. Well sort of, for many of us the travel ends tomorrow, but our journey with our fallen hero continues as we spread the word about their deeds and the families they left behind.
Most of our team spent the day exploring Amsterdam, touring various museums, visiting the Anne Frank House or the Rijksmuseum. I decided to take advantage of being in Holland to visit the countryside and cities/towns where Operation Market-Garden was fought and were my fallen hero, 1LT Warren Frye lost his life. I spent about 12 hours behind the wheel of a Mini Cooper (with an English speaking GPS – the best 10 Euros I have ever spent), tooling around central Holland. What an experience of a lifetime. I visited three museums, two of which were incredible. They rank in the top five history museums I have ever been in (I have been in military history museums on four continents and so this is no faint praise). Along the way, I visited a small British Commonwealth Cemetery and reflected on their sacrifice and the impact of the war on their families and the Dutch civilians in the surrounding area. Needless to say it was a long day, filled with excitement and reflection.
A quick note to teachers thinking about applying – DO IT!!!!! This is a great program – it is not a free tour Europe, you will have to work, you will have to study, and you will have to participate (sounds like what we tell our students). At the end of the day, we visited six American Cemeteries in Europe – every cemetery is different and has its own unique feel and personality – much the same way that our fallen heroes are unique, as are the teachers who have researched and eulogized them. I can’t say enough good things about National History Day and the American Battle Monuments Commission – this partnership has given me the opportunity of a lifetime, not just to travel but to research, understand, and preserve the life of a young man who sacrificed his life in the service of his country. Thank you, NHD and ABMC, for giving this opportunity to learn and make new friendships. Time to catch my flight home.
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.