I am writing this from my home on Wolfe Island as we all begin to move to the APOE (Air Port of Embarkation – I will try to keep acronyms to a minimum). Much packing and re-packing and decisions over whether I really need a raincoat – probably yes – and whether it will fit in the bag- probably no. I am sure all of the students are excited and making their last minute preparations. I have been on many of these tours but each one is unique because of the students. A new group every year with new perspectives, ideas and questions. Don’t let anyone tell you that all history is written – new historians write new history. I am looking forward to seeing the many loyal friends of the Foundation in Normandy, and to visiting the Canadian cemeteries where so many young men lie forever. Studying history on the ground where it occurred and then being able to visit the graves of those who paid the price in blood for the decisions made so many decades ago is a rare privilege and one that I do not take lightly. There are some graves I visit every year – and some I discover each year. The stories that the students tell of their soldier bring home the true cost of war.
The students of CBF Tour 2016 will write their impressions of the trip as we progress from Ypres, to Arras, on to Dieppe and then Normandy. We will attend some ceremonies in Normandy and run our own three ceremonies on 7 June. There will be a new post each day – check in on us and leave a comment or two. We will remember them.