My name is Ben Eyssen and I am a sophomore at Ohio State. I am a Finance major and a History minor. As far back as I can remember I have been interested in history and the lessons that can be learned from it. This study abroad trip will provide so much more depth to my understanding of history than reading about events in a textbook. I am incredibly thankful to all of the donors, professors and staff that have made this trip possible. The comprehensive experience of this time period that the program offers is an excellent way to ensure that the memory of World War II is shared with younger generations.
This trip will be transformational for me because I have never traveled outside of the United States. Now, I have the opportunity to visit some of the most historic places on Earth. I anticipate some of the highlights being our visit to Bletchley park, where the British code breakers operated and Omaha beach, where Americans faced heavy resistance when attempting to regain a foothold in continental Europe. I will also appreciate the solemnity of experiencing Auschwitz-Birkenau, a site that has been carefully preserved in order to document one of mankind’s darkest hours.
After this trip ends, I have the opportunity to visit three more countries: the Czech Republic, Austria, and Hungary. I am going to use this time to take in the history and beauty of a culture that long preceded the settling of my home state of Ohio. As our veterans get older and World War II becomes a memory that only few can say they lived through, I believe it is essential that every generation understand the trials faced by The Greatest Generation. We have a responsibility to recognize the mistakes of the past in order to ensure that they are never repeated.
Hope you enjoy following my journey,