Bonjour and Hello! My name is Maya and I’m a rising Junior at Carleton.
The past week in France has been absolutely spectacular. I had a friend who once told me to be wary, “the French absolutely hate Americans.” However, the time I’ve had in France with the people, culture, and environment has said otherwise.
We kicked off our second day in France with an interactive classroom session beginning in Lower Normandy.
We continued this interactive class by traveling along the coastline to learn about the various beachfronts that Allied forces secured in order to push the Germans out of France. All of which came at a high price, the lives of over ten thousand soldiers.
As we neared an end to our trip to Normandy, one of the wonderful tour guides (his name I forgot but his memory in my heart shall reign forever) left us with warm words to depart with: ”The French and the US are best friends, never forget that! Safe travels and Au revoir my friends!”
The next morning, we set back to London via ferry. Our next stop was the HMS Belfast, a crucial ship that helped attack the coasts of Normandy. There we got to talk to some actual war veterans and citizens who either were alive or played a role in War World II.
One particular survivor I met, Anna, was left on her own at the age of 16 to escape Hungary after being separated from her cousin and sibling. ”I was scared of planes. They were always around going BOOM BOOM BOOM.” Despite this fear she had, she still stands strong and proud to share her wartime experience today.
One more highlight from our day trip in London includes a visit to the Imperial War Museum.
It is important to recognize that the soldiers laid their life down and made many sacrifices to protect their country. This museum was particularly special because it focuses on the civilians, women, children, and others who contributed to the war.
This is a journalist van that got attacked during the war in Gaza. Although, the people in this van were saved due to the bulletproof features of the vehicle, this van symbolize the idea that our access to information about war from abroad comes with a price.