By Zoe Hester
The Dawson County High School International Club went on a trip over the summer to Europe. The club, comprised of 10 students, and chaperoned by Club Sponsor and DCHS Spanish teacher Paola Epstein, visited several countries including Ireland, France and the United Kingdom.
One of the most impactful destinations was Normandy, France, the site of the historical D-Day landing in World War II.
“The trip was chosen by the people in the international club. They decided between all the places in the world to go. The reason they picked this route is because of Normandy. We could’ve picked anywhere,” Epstein said.
The International Club was invited to the 75th anniversary ceremony in Normandy, where they took part in mourning the fallen by making and presenting their own wreath and matching bouquet of flowers.
“It was arranged by George, our tour director, and we brought the wreath from America and gave it to the cemetery,” Epstein said.
After students Mackenzie Willoughby and Annsley Anglin came forward and placed the wreath and flowers at the foot of the statue, everyone turned to face the endless landscape of crosses during an emotionally moving moment of silence.
“We all wanted to be there. It was really important for patriotism. You swell with pride when you do stuff like that. It was a good reflection, it was better than the fourth of July,” DCHS Junior Kailee Lebel said.
“It was interesting to be at the spot where it happened. You can read about it but you don’t realize what it means until you’re standing there,” DCHS Senior Ethan Holtzclaw said. “It makes you realize it’s not just something we made up to talk about in class, it was real people,” Lebel said.
Throughout their trip, the club found themselves immersed in the cultures of any city they came across.
“We met some British kids when it was free-time in Stratford, sitting on a park bench. They came by and just started talking to us for like two hours. It was good emersion into British school culture because they were around our age and super cool. They were asking about American stereotypes and figuring out what was true,” Lebel said.
“We were so much into the culture we forgot about other things. We had a blast and with me going every year, there’s always something new I can see and discover,” Epstein said.