Walking Where History Took Place - My Family Travels

This was the day that my life changed. This summer I had the chance to go on another, People to People Student Ambassador Trip. This trip took me to Ireland, Wales, England, France, Belgium and the Netherlands; where our group got to see first hand the horrors of World War II. It was on this day that we went to the beaches of Normandy, where I felt like an ant; it made me feel so small. I got a chance to walk through the sands of Omaha Beach, where thousands of American soldiers died so others could have freedom, a freedom that those soldiers could only dream of. If only that beach could speak, I know it would tell a story that would make the devil cry.  After seeing the beaches, we went to the American Cemetery; the one place in France that an American can truly say belongs to the United States. This cemetery, with its beautiful green grasses, different colored roses, and marble headstones, is home to 9,387 dead American soldiers. If that simple fact isn't enough to change someone's life, roughly 350 of those American soldiers have tombstones without a name. To think of those un-known soldier’s families, never knowing….it makes you think of how precious our own family truly is, no matter how annoying they can get.

We've learned in school about the horrors of World War II and we've heard how many people died, but it is truly different to go to where history happened and to try and think of how one of those soldiers must have felt. To try and imagine what they were thinking about as they rushed off, guns ready to fire, at the enemy coming at them; what they were thinking about as they fell to the ground and laid there, dying, knowing that they would never get to see their family again and wishing that they could have said everything that they left unsaid because they didn't know for sure that they wouldn't be coming home.

It's places like Omaha Beach or the American Cemetery in France that makes a person realize how lucky and how blessed their life really is, because without the selfless sacrifice of those 9,387 American soldiers, America might not have the luxuries and freedoms that many of its human inhabitants today take for granted. 

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