This past weekend we went as a whole group to visit Northern France and Omaha Beach, with its graves of American soldiers from the WWII invasion of Normandy, aka D-Day. More than 9,000 graves were marked with white crosses! It was a very emotional experience.
We also visited the Memorial of Caen and the reconstruction of Caen after WWII and the invasions. All of the cities in Normandy were destroyed after the U.S. bombing during the invasions. The visit complemented what we are learning in our CF class, which covers French and U.S. relations in the interwar period.
We learned a great deal about WWII and France’s outlook on the war, which was interesting since I really only knew about the U.S. involvement. I am not a history buff, and still I really enjoyed this trip!
It was also great to spend time with everyone in the group. It’s a small group of only 15 people, but what I am enjoying most about the SMU program is getting to meet people I probably would not have met. Here we have a wide variety of majors, from biology to music, and my business major is somewhere in between. As an upperclassman, I take classes with other business majors, so it is great to become friends with a bunch of new people.
At the end of our trip we also visited an apple orchard, which is very typical for the Normandy region … lots of cows and apples, which means great cheese, milk, cidre, pommeau and calvados. The tour of the orchard was so fun and ended with a tasting of apple juice, cidre, pommeau and calvados … very educational.
We all had a great time in Normandy visiting all the sites of D-Day, the Bayeux Tapestry, exploring Caen, walking Omaha beach on the beautiful coast of France, and the apple orchard. Normandy was gorgeous and a great break from the city.