Preparing for Europe

Joseph and Dolores (1944)

My grandparents Joseph and Dolores in early 1944 – before Joe’s departure for England

Hello!  My name is Jordan Henry, and I am entering my senior year at Ohio State.  I am majoring in History and minoring in Political Science and International Studies.  I have always loved learning about and studying history, especially European history.  My focus is on modern French history, which is why I am particularly excited about the week I will be spending in Bayeux and Paris during this study abroad trip.  As someone who has never been outside of the United States before (nor ever been on a plane), this trip will truly be an adventure.  It is one thing to read about World War II in Europe and to listen to the personal experiences of veterans.  It is an entirely different matter to actually see these places firsthand and to interact with the people living there.  Hopefully, I will be able to brush up on my spoken French with native speakers.

Aside from my general interest in Europe and its history, I have a personal connection to the war as well.  My grandfather, Joseph Henry, served in the 83rd Infantry Division during the war and saw combat in Normandy.  His twin brother, Alfred, also served in the war, and saw combat in Normandy, the Ardennes, and in Germany.  As a neighbor to my grandfather, I naturally spent lots of time with him growing up. Listening to his wartime stories – including his time as an MP transporting German POWs from the front – is one of my fondest childhood memories.  To be able to retrace the journeys of my grandfather and his brother – from the U.S. to England, to the beaches and hedgerows of Normandy, to Paris “The City of Light,” and onward into Germany – over 70 years after the end of the war will be an unforgettable, life-changing experience.

I would like to thank the generous scholarship donors who helped make my being on this study abroad trip possible.

 

I look forward to posting again in London.

En avant!

– Jordan Henry

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