Never Forget: D-Day

Laila M. is currently a junior at SYA France and a blogger for the Campus Reporter program. She comes to SYA from Wheeler School in Rhode Island.

Omaha Beach- picture by Clio M.

As the school year comes to an end with only a month and a half left (I still can’t believe it!) it seems that things are coming at me so fast I barely have time to breath. Between SAT and AP prep, Capstone, and general end of semester madness it seems hard to slow down and fully appreciate things. However, this past weekend I got the chance to travel to Normandy for a school trip. Although it was a short trip (only two days), it was genuinely one of the most thought-provoking and interesting one that I’ve taken this year. The point of the trip was to visit the beaches where D-Day took place on June 6th, 1944 and to visit the memorials that were constructed in honor of that day. The day before we left for the trip we all watched the movie Saving Private Ryan. Although extremely graphic and disturbing, in my opinion, it was extremely important to watch it as it gave me something that I could imagine when I visited the beaches and made the entire trip much more meaningful.  

When we arrived at the beaches I could immediately imagine the carnage that took place and the lives that were lost in the name of freedom and liberty. It was truly something that struck me and it was extremely emotional for me, even more so when I realized that most of the soldiers were only a year older than me. When we arrived at the American cemetery and I saw all of the graves, I couldn’t believe the sheer number of people who died fighting for something they believed in. SYA France has given me so many opportunities to see France and see French culture but they also gave me the opportunity to see something that represented my country and the soldiers that died for it. It was one of the most emotional moments during any of the trips this year and definitely the most meaningful.

  • Campus Reporters
  • SYA France
A New Normal

Annika compares her new normal to her life in Rennes in her last blog.


Luke recalls a recent memory that encapsulates the lessons he learned from SYA.