Center Stage: European Tour Day 13
The group takes a trip on the bus from Paris to Normandy, where their first stop is Pointe du Hoc.
Purduette Director Jeff Vallier, Assistant Director Jon Ranard, tour guide Vanessa, and bus driver Johan pose in the parking lot at Normandy.
Members of PMO tour this battle site where US Rangers scaled the cliffs to fight the Nazis during Operation Overlord. It is extremely well preserved and gives a great impression of the destruction occurred on D-Day.
Mark Rauschuber, a guest on the tour, looks out of a Nazi fortification facing the English Channel.
New Man Glee Clubber John Evelo takes a picture of the beautiful cliff faces against the English Channel.
Seniors Aaron Bourdage and Leanne Shideler explore some of the remaining gun emplacements.
The next stop is at the Normandy American Cemetery, which overlooks Omaha Beach.
The Purduettes perform for the cemetery patrons.
The performance takes place at the monument for the Unknown Soldiers who died on D-Day.
It was a very emotional day for all in attendance.
'The Glee Club performs after the ladies with a rendition of "It is Well With My Soul".
Seeing as it is Memorial day, the men and women sing with pride and come together after the Glee Club performs to sing a song written by Ted Arthur called "I Stand Here Now".
After the performance, the group is taken on tours of the cemetery.
The cemetery holds the remains of 9,387 US participants in World War II.
The tour guides give stories of some of the men and women buried there, which are exceptionally powerful.
After the tours the group is able to explore the cemetery on their own and some take that chance to go down to the beach itself. Omaha Beach is one of the places where US troops landed on June 6, 1944 during Operation Overlord.
Juniors and Seniors are able to take part in two flag lowering ceremonies at the end of the day at the cemetery.
The first flag is lowered with the help of Marine veterans in the Wounded Warrior program.
The students are then able to jump in and help to fold the massive flag.
The second flag is lowered and the students are there to help with the veterans.
The flag is stretched out so that it can be properly folded.
After folding the flag, the students and veterans watch as it is taken away by the cemetery staff.
After an emotional Memorial Day at Omaha Beach and the American cemetery there, students are taken back to the hotel to prepare for the trip home the next day. What an experience the members of Purdue Musical Organizations have had!