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Valorie Coleman
Public Relations Director
College of the Ozarks
Point Lookout, MO 65726
Office: (417) 690-2212
Email: pr@cofo.edu

July 03, 2019

College of the Ozarks students travel to Normandy for 75th anniversary of D-Day

Group picture of College of the Ozarks students in the Normandy American CemeteryTwenty College of the Ozarks students traveled to Europe on a 12-day trip as part of the Patriotic Education Travel Program, June 2-13, visiting Normandy for the 75th anniversary commemoration of D-Day. (Photo by Shann Swift.)

C of O student surveys the gravesites in the Normandy American Cemetery in France.Emily Braden, senior business administration and public relations double major, along with 19 other students, visit the Normandy American Cemetery, the final resting place of 9,388 military personnel who gave their lives in Operation Overlord. The cemetery, which overlooks Omaha Beach, hosted the 75th anniversary commemoration the students attended on June 6. “These men were often younger than we are now, and they bravely served on foreign soil for people they would never meet,” Braden said. (Photo by Shann Swift.)

War memorial on Omaha Beach in Normandy.Les Braves war memorial sits on the shores of Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, and commemorates the fallen American soldiers of World War II who lost their lives on June 6, 1944. (Photo by Shann Swift.)

Student experiences somber moment in Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery in France.Jordan Sutton, senior criminal justice major, walks the grounds of the Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery. (Photo by Shann Swift.)

A flyover by French aircraft help make the commemorations ceremonies on the anniversary of D-Day.French precision acrobatic aircraft fly overhead following the 75th anniversary commemoration of D-Day at the Normandy American Cemetery. (Photo by Shann Swift.)

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — Twenty College of the Ozarks students traveled to Europe on a 12-day trip as part of the Patriotic Education Travel Program, June 2-13, visiting Normandy for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. They also visited London, Brussels, and Amsterdam.  

This trip marked the College’s 11th tour to Europe, but it was the 24th Patriotic Education Travel Program trip. Previous tours took students to the battlefields of World War II, Cold War, Korean War, and Vietnam War.

Bryan Cizek, director of patriotic activities, oversaw the planning and implementation of the trip.

“This trip truly enriched my understanding of sacrifice,” said Emily Braden, senior business administration and public relations double major. “These men were often younger than we are now, and they bravely served on foreign soil for people they would never meet. They understood how important freedom is, so they willingly sacrificed their own. It is now our duty to keep that sacrifice alive.”

While on the trip, students had the opportunity to see Westminster Abbey and the Churchill War Rooms in London, England. In the Normandy region of France, students visited Pointe du Hoc and attended an event commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

“To hear the stories and stand in the presence of the men who survived the hellish assault was absolutely riveting,” said Jordan Sutton, senior criminal justice major, about the servicemen who stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. “No words of mine will ever do justice to the soldiers who wrote history with their deeds. Above all, I am thankful that such men have lived and that I have had the opportunity to hear their stories. They will not be forgotten.”

Student participants:

  • Cassidy Anderson, senior social work major from Harrison, Arkansas
  • Tyler Bleau, junior business administration management major from Nixa, Missouri
  • Emily Braden, senior business administration and public relations double major from Sikeston, Missouri
  • Kortney Cambers, senior public relations major from Neosho, Missouri
  • Ryleigh Clark, junior nutrition and dietetics major from Springfield, Missouri
  • Benjamin Cody, senior accounting major from Cookeville, Tennessee
  • Spenser Cross, senior history education major from Centerview, Missouri
  • Justice Daniel, junior criminal justice major from Republic, Missouri
  • Ty Durnell, junior computer science major from Willow Springs, Missouri
  • Kaylee Henry, senior elementary education major from Nixa, Missouri
  • Natalie Hensarling, senior music theater and marketing double major from Olathe, Kansas
  • Bethany Marteney, senior nursing major from Riley, Kansas
  • Jordan Mitchell, senior elementary education major from Malden, Missouri
  • Caleb Nichols, senior public relations major from Russellville, Missouri
  • Lindsay Pemberton, senior speech communication major from Lebanon, Missouri
  • Jonathan Plummer, senior business administration major from Branson, Missouri
  • Mary Reed, senior psychology major from Roland, Arkansas
  • Christian Slater, senior computer science major from Spokane, Missouri
  • Jordan Sutton, senior criminal justice major from Salem, Missouri
  • Matthew Weathermon, senior public relations and history double major from Marionville, Missouri

Sponsors:

  • Bryan Cizek, director of patriotic activities
  • David Dalton, professor of history
  • Col. James Schreffler, assistant professor of military science
  • Capt. Caleb Dunnam, instructor of military science
  • 1st Lt. Alex Williams, instructor of military science
  • Rick Hughes, vice president for vocational programs and chief financial officer, and wife, Elizabeth Hughes
  • Lori Vanderpool, clinic administrator and patriotic travel nurse, and husband, Kent Vanderpool

 

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