YOU did it….the veterans are funded!!

Dear community and students,

You are amazing! Our donations total today ( Monday, May 19) brought in enough money for us to pay for our veterans’ and a family member’s flights, their hotels and enough left over to provide some spending money for the veterans. THANK YOU!!!!  If donations come in tomorrow, I am booking the veterans and students a nice meal in Paris hopefully overlooking Notre-Dame Cathedral. Our documentarian will capture all these amazing experiences,  and we will share it on our return.

Our itinerary?   June 02 – arrive Paris; visit a few sites; dinner in a charming restaurant

June 03 – Leave Paris at 10am for Bastogne and the Mardasson Memorial to honor those who fought at the Battle of the Bulge…special ceremony at 3pm for Mark and Ed. Spend the night in Liege where our pen pals live; veterans will be in a nice hotel in Liege

June 04 – 10am – leave for Normandy; arrive late afternoon ; veterans settle into French families and students (and teachers) set up camp in our host village: Amfreville.

June 05 – day to relax or visit Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc or Mere Ste Eglise

June 06 – BIG DAY…going to the American Cemetery for a 10:30 commemoration event with President Obama and French President Hollande.  Students helping at ceremony   Afternoon ceremony at Sword Beach if possible.

June 07 – Visit Arromanches or Ste Mere Eglise / Rest

June 08 – Return home

Questions for students: What do you know about these regions of Normandy? of WWII ? or our veterans?  Would you like to participate in an experience like this? Why or why not?
What role does the French language play in this experience?  Why do you think so many people in our community donated so generously? THANK YOU TO OUR COMMUNITY!


19 Responses so far.

  1. Sophie C. says:

    I know a little bit about these regions of Normandy, especially the American cemetery since we talked about it in class. In my Social Studies class, we haven’t covered WWII, but I know some facts about it. I know that my grandpa was in the war and he was at Normandy on D-Day. I remember listening to the veterans on Europe Day and they must have been so courageous. That’s amazing; to put your life in danger just for the sake of your country. I’m honestly happy for Mr. Ed and Mr. Mark that they’ll be able to travel to Normandy this summer. I would love to participate in an experience like this. This actually is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the high schoolers going on the trip. And I think that so many people donated to this because they knew that this was a once in a lifetime chance. I believe that the French language plays a role in all this because the students going on the trip to Normandy probably became interested in the project through their French class in middle school! Learning French is more than just reading out of a textbook every single day. It’s about getting out there and stepping out of your comfort zone, like what these high schoolers are doing. I feel that this is going to be a great experience for both the students and the veterans. To the students: Good luck! To the veterans: Thank you!

  2. Emile C says:

    Even though I didn’t participate in the organization of helping the veterans travel I still think it’s an amazing opportunity for the veterans and also the students. The veterans will be able to see the country that they liberated 70 years ago. It will also be a incredible experience for the students as well. They will be able to see how WW2 changed the lives of many and the country of Europe as a whole.

  3. Sayali G. says:

    I know that Normandy was saved by these veterans in World War Two. Mr. Mark and Mr. Ed are such amazing people and I was so honored to be able to see them and hear their story. It was truly inspiring to speak with them. They sacrificed their lives to liberate Normandy and I’m so glad that they will finally get to see the results of their efforts. I would like to participate in this because it is such a great experience to be able to go to Normandy and to help people who really deserve to, get there. The four students will definitely need their french skills in Normandy to communicate with the locals and translate for the veterans. I think that people donated so much because it is a worthy cause. Helping a veteran see the land he saved is a noble goal and people can see that and want to help. I would like to thank the veterans for everything that they have done and thank these dedicated students for this trip.

  4. Anja S. says:

    The only thing I know about Normandy is D-Day. In my Social Studies class, I learned about D-Day. Sword, Juno, Omaha, Utah, and Gold were the beaches that Allied troops landed on. I think that what the US did was a heroic and endangering act. I want to learn more about the French and Belgium perspective when they were liberated from the Nazis. my family is German, and when I go to visit my grandparents in Germany, I love hearing stories about WWII. my grandmother was my age when Hitler started to capture other countries. I think that it must have been really scary to be a part of D-Day. I would love to help veterans go back to the battlegrounds. I know that people there would be really grateful. People probably donated to this trip because they know that the veterans might not get another chance like this. French is so important because it allows us to connect with other countries in a global community to help each other. I wish the high schoolers the best of luck! Thank you so much veterans!

  5. Eden B says:

    I am absolutely mesmerized by the motivation that occurred in these students to bring veterans to the place they had once liberated 70 years ago. I wonder what the veterans think of this opportunity that is being presented to them, and all the people supporting them. I understand why they would want to go back, to relive the glorious day of liberation and justice, but wouldn’t this also bring back horrific memories of seasickness, war, and violence? Wouldn’t fear be coursing through their veins on that moment 70 years ago? I wish this could be explained. Perhaps this trip might also be about letting go of the pain and suffering that WWII caused.

  6. lilly c says:

    well first of all i know that WWII was a extremely hard time to be a solider and if you where in the battle of the bulge or D-day you had to be extremely brave. If i had the chance to get an experience like this i would take it because it would be a once it a life time experience because this is the last ceremony for WWII soldiers ever. i think people donated so generously because its so important that we remember our history and theirs the fact that these veterans were in Normandy when there was a war going on so its not like they went sight seeing. i think that french speaking is so important because one its France and two its important that these veterans don’t get sick because they thought bread in french was boire not pain.thank you.

  7. Bridget P says:

    I’ve learned a lot in French class and at Europe Day. I don’t know much about other history of Normandy but I would like to learn more of their specific cultural traditions. Hearing the veterans specific stories at Europe Day was a nice experience because when they are telling their own stories, it seems much more real. I would love to participate in an experience like this because it would really open my mind to new things. I think that going back to Normandy will help the veterans by letting them have good memories of Normandy. Since the veterans do not speak French, they need people who can speak the language. I think people gave a lot because the veterans are from Chapel Hill. If the veterans were not from here, people would not feel like they connected with the project. They understand WWII and how the veterans feel. I’m really glad they raised enough money, and I hope it’s a good experience.

  8. Julia Z. says:

    I know quite a bit about these regions. I’ve spent the past month and half studying World War Two in Social Studies. I understand that that D-Day was a pivotal day in the war. After learning about the events that occurred on that day, I can somewhat understand how important this trip is to the veterans. It really amazes me; the amount of selflessness that they showed when they risked their lives to fight for this country. I personally, would love to take part in an experience like this! I think being able to visit places so rich in history would be life-changing. I would love to see the expressions on the veterans faces when they return to such a place, so may years later. The French language obviously plays a major role in this experience. Because Normandy is in France, most likely the majority of the proceedings during the d-day celebration will be in French. I believe that that so many donations were received because this is such a culturally enriching experience for our generation. Me being 14, I would love the opportunity to have such an experience at such a young age! Experiences like these are what inspires younger generations to do good with their life, and want to learn more about the world around them. Overall, I believe that this trip is a great opportunity/experience!

  9. Rachel McCoy says:

    I know very little about these regions in Normandy, but I’ve recently learned about World War Two in my social studies class. We learned mainly about D-Day and events leading up to the end of the War. I would love to be able to participate in something like this because to be in the shoes of the high school students would feel so amazing. It would make me feel courageous and good about myself knowing I was doing something nice for the veterans. French takes a huge role in this. Mostly because it allows you to talk to people while in France. I think so many people donated because they appreciate our veterans a lot and they know their money is going to a very good cause.

  10. Katlin A. says:

    I don’t know a lot about the regions of Normandy, I only know what i’ve learned in Social studies about world war two and D-day.From what I’ve learned all i can say is that the people that fought in world war two and at D-day are so brave and I thank them so much for fighting for our country. In the future I would love to be apart of something like this. I would love to be able to give back to some to the people that gave so much for our country. The french language plays a huge role in this because the people taking to veterans have to be able to order for them and tell people what they can and can’t do and eat. I think so many people in our community have donated money to this because I think one they and obviously see that its for a good cause and second because i think the realized that they may not be here or live there life the way that they do/want to. Thank you to the veterans and all the people that donated money to their trip also thank you to the students taking the Veterans on the trip.

  11. Carolina C says:

    I don’t know much about the regions in Normandy but my social studies class has covered a lot of WWII. In social studies class as well as in French class we have talked a little about places in Normandy. For example, Omaha Beach and the memorial grounds of WWII. I thought when the veterans visited our school a few weeks ago it was really interesting to learn about their experiences not only on D-Day but in the war. I would really like to participate in an experience like this because an opportunity like this one doesn’t come around too often.The high school students are very lucky to get the chance to be able to go on this trip, and get to experience it with the veterans. French plays a big role in this because these students have to prepare and practice a lot as it is a unique opportunity to step out of their comfort zones. Finally I think this trip got funded so generously because I think many people realized how this is a once in a lifetime chance for everyone participating. I hope everyone has fun on the trip!

  12. Lindsay N. says:

    I know some about these regions of Normandy, as I did a project showing where the students would go in 2013 for the exchange. Normandy is in the north of France, and the name refers to the Duchy of Normandy. It has a coast on the English Channel, and has many rivers flow through it, including the seine. It includes many famous landmarks, such as Mont Saint Michel, and the Rouen Cathedral.
    WWII has been a long time interest to me, especially the holocaust. It lasted from 1939-1945, and was throughout Europe, and spread to the pacific as well. The Nazi party overtook Germany, and invaded many surrounding countries, including France. The holocaust however, was concentrated mostly in the Germany-Poland area, but was very severe.
    Our veterans, first of all, are AWESOME. Ed Chappell and Mark Sumner are 2 WWII veterans, and are going back to Normandy for the first time since they fought, all thanks to the Envoys of Honor program. Ed Chappell, a Durham local, landed in Normandy 6 times on D-Day in an LCT. Mark Sumner fought in the Battle of Ardennes, aka the Battle of the Bulge. They are both very nice, and just wonderful people in general, with inspiring stories.
    I would like to do something like this, as our veterans should be treated, with, well, the highest honor, as they fought for our country and the moral rights that people deserve.
    French plays a role, as the veterans are going to France, but know next to no french, so they need translators.
    People donated generously, I think, because they agree with the motive of these four students, and think that the veterans deserve to go back, and it’s a great idea for it to happen.

    Lindsay N.

  13. LeAnne D says:

    I know a bit about Normandy from the veterans’ story when they told us about their experiences, and I learned about World War Two both from the veterans and from some of the books that I read for Battle of the Books this year. Concerning the trip for the veterans, I would definitely want to participate in something like this, because I’d like to be able to do something that would change someone’s life or experience about a place.
    What role does the French language play in this experience? The American soldiers that fought in WWII landed in France to cease the terror, pain, and fear that the Nazis under Hitler’s command caused. To see the place where they had fought years ago at peace and hear the beautiful language that they spoke while they saw what they did is a vital part of the whole experience of returning to France. And finally, why did everyone donate so much? Well, this is a worthy cause, taking two veterans from the greatest generation and bringing them back to the beautiful place where they fought for the liberation of the Europeans. If that isn’t a worthy cause, I don’t know what is.

  14. Benjamin J. Austin says:

    I have always been fascinated by the D-Day invasions and all other aspect of World War Two. It is a once in a lifetime experience to meet a man who was there, on the deciding day. It is true bravery that these men had, to run up a beach with little no cover, at the mercy of all the Germans could throw. They sacrificed themselves for the people of America, the people of France, the people of the World. It is also amazing to meet a man who fought in the Battle of the Bulge. Largely considered one of the worst battles with the worst fighting conditions in the entire war. Slogging through the snow with little to no winter supplies, while fighting for your life. Doesn’t sound very fun. it would be an honor to be able to escort two war veterans to their old theater. They should be recognized more than at the occasional ceremony, they should be recognized forever. Speaking the French language will only help my older brother create an even more amazing experience for these veterans. Someday I hope I can help others break the language barrier, just like these students are doing for Mr. Ed and Mr. Mark. I am so happy at the way our community responded to these veterans need. It is the only way we can give back to these men who gave it all for us. It is a blessing that these men are here, they are members of the greatest generation. The generation that responded to their country’s need wholeheartedly and made life able to be the way it is today.

  15. Emilie A says:

    I don’t know that much about these regions of Normandy. I know where they are on the map but I don’t know about their significance. I know a lot about WWII because my great-grandfather used to tell me stories about the war because he fought in the war. I have heard some stories from our veterans too. I loved hearing them talk on Europe Day. I also know their significance in the war. I would like to participate in something like this because it’s unique. This is the last commemoration ceremony so it truly is a once in a life time experience. Also I’ve never been camping, to go camping in Normandy would be very cool. French language contributes a very big role in this trip. Since the students going know French they will be able to communicate with many different people during this trip. I think a lot of people donated because they realized how special this opportunity is not only for the veterans but also for the students. It makes it that more special that veterans from North Carolina get to be there during the last commemoration ceremony.

  16. Lara R says:

    Even though I’m not familiar with WW II battles and Normandy, I do find this history interesting. Some of my ancestors came to Canada from Normandy (Le Havre) and my mom’s dad was in the Marines during WW II. Also, my dads cousin was in England during WW II. I think the Battle of the Bulge is important. I heard the Germans ran out of gas and that’s why they had to retreat and the Americans were able to invade Germany. This battle was very bloody and many Americans died. After this battle the British and Americans went into Germany and released Jews from concentration camps. Since I’m Jewish, I really appreciate what our troops did.
    I think so many people contributed to this trip because Americans are grateful that many men gave their lives for freedom and so much of the freedom we enjoy today is due to their sacrifices. It is important that we speak French if Americans truly want to learn about the history of WW II in France and want to preserve battle sites and memorials. I would like to participate in an experience like this, but I would have to learn a lot more about WW II to make it meaningful.

  17. Xintong X. says:

    I don’t know much else about Normandy except that Ohmaha Beach in Normandy is where the ALlied troops invaded to liberate France on D-Day. I know some things baout WWII, we haven’t covered it in social studies, but I know the basics like Germany, Italy and Japan wanted to take over the world together, and what they did in Asia and Europe, like the Holocaust and the massacre at Nanjing, China. I heard Mr. Chappell talking about his experience in WWII in French class, and it was truly amazing. I would definitely like to participate in something like this. I think what they’re doing is really awesome. Is those students didn’t know French, they couldn’t possibly do something like this. I think the reason why so many people donated so generously is that they were really touched by what those four students are doing. What those veterans did, it affected all of us. I’m really glad that this worked out and I hope the WWII veterans have a ton of fun on their trip 🙂

  18. Mick Herrin says:

    I do not know much about these regions of Normandy, but I still think this is amazing. The fact that the veterans are getting to go back to Normandy where they experienced WWII first hand, is just about the coolest thing ever. It is especially cool, because they are going to the last formal celebration of D-Day. If I was offered the opportunity to travel to Normandy with WWII veterans, I would definitely say YES! It would be so great to talk to them about the WWII, and they could teach me some history and things about WWII that they experienced. I could even help them with their French, which also would test my skills. The French language plays a huge part in this trip. If you want to buy things, or talk to people, and make new friends in a place like Normandy, you have to speak their language… French! Breaking the language barrier between you and others who speak a different language is crucial in making friends abroad and just traveling abroad in general! I think that so many people and companies in our community donated so generously to this trip because it is for a good reason. Those veterans wanted one thing, and it was to go back to Normandy before they pass away, and that dream is coming true, thanks to the generous people in our community that donated. The veterans are going to go back to Normandy, and be part of a great D-Day celebration, and have a wonderful time!

  19. Will Payne says:

    I know of only the brave stories about the soldiers in WWII. I’ve heard of the many tales of bravery from the Normandy liberation, the Battle of the Bulge, Iwo Jima and many others. That’s why we need to spend as much time with veterans or eyewitnesses on the war as we can. We could learn as much textbook knowledge as we want, but having the experience of talking with an actual witness or participant of these wars is a once in a lifetime experience to hear what it was like from an real perspective. “Spend time with elderly people, they have the best stories to tell, and the shortest time to tell them”- Anonymous. I think this trip is amazing, especially with a documentarian. I think to show these veterans the original site of their fighting will bring amazing stories to light. French has accessed a whole new world to me. Being able to host Belgians, make international friends and be a part of this wonderful experience. the community donated to this cause because most of the adults have had a chance to talk or even maybe be related to a WWII veteran, and they know what we owe those veterans.
    Will Payne

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