The group of CHCCS students called "NC to Normandy" has arrived in France amidst fanfare and a bright spotlight by Lester Holt's team at NBC Nightly News. During the full line-up of commemorating events to celebrate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, students and the two sponsored World War II veterans from Chapel Hill have been invited to sit in the VIP section for the main ceremony.
The organizers of this event said in an email: "We are very impressed with the accomplishments of your students. To raise $25,00 for the veterans to return to Normandy gives me much hope for the younger generation."
On their NC to Normandy Facebook page, the group posted this on June 6: "We are at the D-Day ceremony. (Veterans) George and Jacques have taken their position onstage, along with over 120 of their fellow WWII comrades. Thank you to the staff at the American Cemetery for honoring our NC to Normandy group with VIP seating right behind the White House staff. We are here to recognize and honor those of the Greatest Generation who literally saved the world and insured for us the freedoms we enjoy today. This hallowed ground where those who bore the ultimate sacrifice for freedom will forever serve as a reminder to the world that our freedom was and is not free, and let us never forget to honor their memory and the cost it bore on America and all the Allied countries who banded together to defeat tyranny and oppression."
View the NBC Nightly News piece here and follow their extraordinary adventures at their blog. Congratulations to Smith Middle School teachers, Robin McMahon and Tony Carter, the tireless and enthusiastic students and the many parents and volunteers who helped make this trip possible, with a special shoutout to the Public School Foundation for their generous support.