CEDAR CITY — Southern Utah University staff recently helped educate a group of travelers visiting the site of a famous World War II battle in Belgium.
In what was once called “the greatest American battle of the war” by Winston Churchill, the Battle of the Bulge was Adolf Hitler’s last major offensive in World War II.
Almost 75 years to the day after this historic battle, SUU Community on the Go travelers took to the skies to revisit some of the most historical war sites from World War II. Beginning in Amsterdam, the voyage continued through Maastricht, Bastogne, Luxembourg, Cologne and concluded in Frankfurt.
The trip was led by SUU staff and faculty experts who guided the travelers through historic site battles, museums and local restaurants, while also getting some free time to spend with their loved ones.
“The main reason I took this trip was because of the educational aspect, and the professors and professionals who provided it — they were very knowledgeable and provided the right amount of educational instruction,” Roger Carter, Washington City manager, said in a press release from SUU. “But my favorite part was the way the other participants were able to share their personal stories of family members who served in this theatre of war. It was very moving.”
Located in the remote hills of Belgium, Hitler’s plot was to split the Allies during their trek toward Germany. The German troops failed to divide Britain, France and America, and the Allied victory in the Ardennes Mountains is often heralded as the beginning of the end for Hitler’s reign.
That same moving sentiment is what trip participant Valerie Turek remembers as well.
“To see the places our American veterans fought for the freedom of others in person, and to learn about the experiences they endured has been life changing for me,” Turek said. “I learned a lot about the character of a World War II American soldier and I am grateful I had this experience.”
The SUU Community on the Go program will take travelers to Italy in March and the savannas of Africa in May.
Community on the Go offers culturally immersive, international travel experiences led by SUU faculty experts four times a year. Trips accommodate approximately 20-30 travelers and are designed to explore various parts of the world in fun, affordable and educational settings.
Activities are flexible and designed using community feedback. More than 250 participants have traveled with the program since its inception in 2017.
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