Thursday, October 14, 2010

October 14—“All good things must come to an end”


After thirteen days and five countries, many hours in the air and nearly 2,000 miles on our bus, twenty C of O students and five WWII veterans have formed a unique bond. Memories have been made, tears shed, stories told and life changing moments have been made, but our trip is coming to an end.

We spent today in Munich relaxing, sightseeing and enjoying lunch at the Hofbrauhaus, where veteran Mr. Ralph Manley provided us with the best evidence yet that our world has changed for the better over the last 65 years—an American paratrooper dancing to Polka music with a Japanese woman in a German restaurant!

We wanted to take the time today to say “Thanks” once again to our five brave men who fought not only for America, but for freedom everywhere. We have had the pleasure and honor over the last two weeks to gain firsthand knowledge from them. None of us will ever forget the memories we have made. It was the trip of a lifetime. We were able to travel to some of the great WWII battle fields, such as the beaches of Normandy and the Ardennes forest at Bastogne. We have learned so much because of our tour directors and veterans, who have been a treasure trove of information and feeling. History books can tell you the facts, but not the raw emotions, how war smelled and sounded. These men are so nice and loving even though they withstood the horrors of war. They are true heroes and we should never stop honoring or thanking them for protecting our world. Mr. Alvin Henderson told us that he gave everything for us and seeing the college students on this trip proved to him that it was not a waste of his life.

Our bags are packed and we are heading home soon, with excitement to return to campus yet sadness to leave Mr. John Cipolla, Mr. Wilson Colwell, Mr. Alvin Henderson, Mr. Ralph Manley and Mr. Albert Schultz. But they will forever be in our hearts and prayers. We salute you, our WWII veterans.

Amber Williamson and Michael Schoonover

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