Friday, June 1, 2012

The Beginnings

So it begins... The moment we have been waiting and praying for since February. We are excited to embark on a new journey, one that few will have the opportunity to witness. We are still overwhelmed by the mere opportunity to meet and speak with such incredible people.

Our Veteran's name is Dr. Hall Duncan. We had the pleasure of meeting him prior to our departure. Hall is 88 years young and so full of life. The night we were introduced we had dinner together. We were lost in conversation as the restaurant closed around us.

Hall served in the 101st Regiment of the 26th Infantry Division. He was stationed in France when he was shot carrying a wounded soldier. He even met General Patton while hospitalized. In these two short weeks, we look forward to sharing in these emotional moments of remembering history with our Veteran.

Although, Hall has a list of achievements too long to mention, he places his relationship with Christ above all. Hall was saved at an early age and was raised in church. He has learned from all of his life experiences and strives to be the best he can be. “I believe everybody has a story to tell and sharing that story is a part of God's will for our lives,” Hall said. And that is exactly why he is here.

The Holocaust is something that far too many disregard, or just see numbers and statistics when discussing the Jewish genocides during World War II. We are learning more and more that it doesn't matter how many statistics you can memorize or how much knowledge you get researching the war. What matters is realizing the stories of the real men and women who lived through it and holding those close to your heart. They are daughters, fathers, mothers and sons who have been forever changed because of these events. Spending these past hours with them has given me an appreciation and reverence that I can hardly explain. We can't even fathom the depths of emotions they must have felt.

We have a job while we are on this trip; not one that is offered to many. Our job is to learn and record as much as we can so the stories and recollections of the greatest generation live on. People often say that history repeats itself, but by raising awareness in my generation, we are making sure that we do not experience another Holocaust.

Words cannot describe our excitement for the trip. We are truly thankful to embark on this journey of a lifetime. Please pray for the receptive minds of the students and strength for the Veterans and Survivors. Also pray that these stories, and more importantly, the lives of these Victims, Survivors and Liberators, can be remembered and passed on to future generations.

Austin Plummer, senior
Bonnie Andersen, junior

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