Local high school students are planning on a visit to Europe to visit the American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-mer. Six amazing teenagers are working toward an invitation to volunteer at the 70th D-Day celebration. They are also hopeful to have local World War II veterans join them on their journey. They know that these veterans would also like to travel to the 70th D-Day celebration, but might hesitate to travel alone.
Through class events, the students have met and been inspired by these brave veterans who have since passed: Robert Patton, Vince Norako, and Tony Marimpietri. They heard what it was like to have the Allied soldiers liberate Paris from Chantal Shafrock, who was a teen in Paris at that time.
Since 2009 about 30 students have traveled to the American Cemetery in Normandy. They stayed with families in Liege, Belgium, but an important piece of history, sacrifice and honor was experienced when they walked Omaha Beach, visited the American Cemetery and imagined the effects of war at Pointe du Hoc.
This year’s group of six students, who are now juniors in high school (17 years old), would like to return to Normandy and volunteer to help with the 70th D-Day celebration. They are students who traveled in 2011 and who have a deep interest in honoring our veterans. These incredible young people have had relatives and close friends fight in World War II and another hopes to be a history teacher and travel abroad with students. All are doing very well in school, have achieved numerous honors, and speak French well.
C. V. Cummings Chapel Hill Post 6 is proud of these students and their teacher, Ms. Robin McMahon. They exemplify what the Veterans of Foreign Wars members looks for to recognize local students and educators who perform patriotic service in our community. We will be following the students’ quest as they continue to work on the details of this year’s planned trip and wish them well as they wait on the official invitation to this years historic 70th D-Day celebration.
Here is a UNC-TV video on a recent class trip to France.