“I was asked to write a proposal for the New Orleans World War II Museum’s Normandy Educational Travel Program, I knew exactly what I wanted to do,” said Stephanie Lindsey, a spring 2016 mass communication grad student.
Each year the museum’s program takes a group of students on an incredible trip to Normandy, France to learn about WWII.
“I knew that as an African American attending an historically black college or university, this would be an amazing opportunity to learn about the role they played in the war from the places where they actually fought and died for this country.”
“I knew I wanted to make a documentary about my experience and I knew I wanted it to be for the benefit of other Black students, the World War II Museum, and my school, Grambling State University,”said Lindsey.
“When I was informed by the museum that I was being awarded the scholarship to go to France, it was as if the world stopped spinning for just a second so I could catch my breath. I was ecstatic to say the least!”
“There I was, a grad student from Stockton, California, about to fly halfway around the world to make a film about Blacks who fought and died alongside their fellow soldiers for my freedom and the freedom of all Americans.”
Days one through three of this 12-day adventure will begin on Sunday, June 19, in New Orleans, Louisiana, at the World War II Museum.
During this time, students and other participants of the trip will experience a 4D film about the war titled Beyond All Boundaries.
Days two and three includes V.I.P. tours of the museum including a look at special exhibits and a trip to New Orleans famous’ French Quarter.
On day four we fly as a group to Paris, France and on day five there will be a bus tour of Paris before leaving for Normandy.
Days six through eleven will be spent touring all over Normandy and other historical cities that share in the history of the war.
One of the tours will be a trip to Ste-Mere-Eglise, the first town to be liberated by American paratroopers of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, with eye-witness accounts of that day.
There will be a special tour of the Utah Beach Museum and Omaha beach, the actual site of the landings of the 1st and 29th Infantry Divisions.
Students will also tour the Normandy American Cemetery, the final resting place of 9,387 American soldiers as well as the Wall of the Missing which holds the names of 1,557 soldiers who were never found. The last day will be spent traveling back to the United States.
“Along with recording this experience I will also be blogging each day to give my friends and family, fellow colleagues, and anyone else who wants to tune in, day by day updates from Facebook and Instagram.”
“This is truly a once in a lifetime experience and I am blessed to be given an opportunity to be a part of it and share it with the rest of the world,” said Lindsey.