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Normandy Scholars: A Reflection

After having been home in Tennessee for three days, I have had time to reflect and truely understand how this trip impacted my life. The individual lessons I received at the different countries and settings will stick with me forever.  In London, the background of the Blitz helped me to better understand why Britain has been shaped to what it is now in regards to government, as well as the idea of British determination.  In Normandy, the first-hand experience of seeing the beaches where so many young Americans sacrificed their lives was truely humbling.  Additionally, seeing the American cemetery with rows of nearly ten thousand markers helped me to better understand the impact of how many Americans died, well beyond what any number in a book could ever achieve.  In Paris, seeing the narrative of the resistance in government financed museums helped me understand why the French have a very difficult time acknowledging their actions in cooperating with the Nazis and their roles in deporting many people to their deaths.  In Germany, it was very eye-opening to see how the German people have much less focus on what happened during World War Two, but a very large focus on the history of Germany since 1945 when the Nazis were defeated.  Additionally, outside of these examples that relate directly to our course topic, in general it was very impactful to see the way that European nations function.  Certain aspects of Europe also made me much more appreciative of the fact that I am an American, something that can never be taken away from me.