Lewis University Students Mark 75th Anniversary of D-Day

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Lewis University Students Commemorate 75th Anniversary of D-Day

Published: June 4, 2019.

June 6, 2019 marks the 75th anniversary of the Allied invasion of France. The Lewis University Women’s Basketball Team visited this hallowed ground just last week as part of a travel study course that addressed modern history and the theme of pilgrimage. The students toured Omaha Beach, the Longues-sur-Mer battery, the Bayeux War Cemetery and the American Cemetery in addition to spending time in Paris, Rouen, and Reims.

Samantha Quigley Smith, Head Coach of the Women’s Basketball Team, said, “We had visited the War Museum in Paris in preparation for our visit. The students were extremely moved by the experience. Some even bought small bottles to collect sand from the beach.”

Dr. Dennis H. Cremin, Professor of History, observed, “Some people say that history is a thing of the past, but it is all around us. After the first of our two basketball games against a French team, we met an older woman with beautiful eyes. Team member Charnelle Reed commented on her eyes, and the woman asked in French, ‘Are you American?’ She then said in English, ‘Thank you for our freedom.’ She said that her father lived in Normandy, and they had been liberated by the Americans, adding, ‘These eyes are the eyes of my father.’ We embraced and shed tears.”

Visiting the Normandy Beaches left a lasting impression on the students. They came away with a deep connection to the monumental events of World War II and the sacrifices made at the beaches of Normandy to secure freedom. Added Dr. Cremin, “On this 75th anniversary, I encourage us all to remember Normandy, and to those who sacrificed so much for our freedom.”

Lewis University is an innovative and forward-thinking Catholic university offering market-relevant undergraduate and graduate programs to 6,500 students. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis University is nationally recognized for preparing intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected and socially responsible graduates. Visit www.lewisu.edu for further information.

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