Internships at the Memorial

Hello everyone, 
Now that we are able to get back to a bit of a normal routine (at least before camp starts next week), we are going to take a minute to introduce you to one of our wonderful interns who has been working with us over the past month.  I can tell you, they have all been working hard: researching, helping with students, moving tables and chairs, learning the tour, creating exhibits, and once again moving tables and chairs.  I, along with the rest of the staff at the Memorial, are so appreciative of their hard work and dedication.  Without our wonderful interns helping out this summer, I do not know how I would have gotten all the work completed.  Starting just a few weeks before D-Day, they jumped in, completed whatever task was asked of them, and I cannot thank them enough for their dedication to the Memorial.  Connor’s last day was today, but it is better late than never….right?

Greetings to all!
My name is Connor Mullin. I am a student at Hillsdale College majoring in history. This past spring, while searching for possible internships related to my field, I came across the National D-Day Memorial.  I had visited the memorial the previous summer and was struck by its simplicity and beauty.  On May 19th, I arrived on site and began work almost immediately, assisting with the education program, and, of course, preparing for the big day: the 70th anniversary of D-Day.  For most veterans of that fateful day, this would be the last time for such a significant gathering, as the world continues to lose many World War II veterans each day.  Based on the testimonies of my coworkers and the veterans I talked to, the ceremony was a success.  As a matter of fact, June 6th, 2014, exceeded all of my expectations.  

Upon entering the long, winding drive up to the memorial on that warm, sunny Friday, I could tell the day was going to be special, but also rather hectic.  At 7:30 am, I found myself assisting in the moving of chairs and the adding of any final necessary touches to all of our exhibits.  I should not neglect to mention where I was to be stationed that day: the education tent, a large green army tent generally closed to the public, but open to all on June 6th.  That day, the tent (which also happened to be air conditioned, much to the relief of many a visitor) featured an array of artwork and propaganda as well as three trifold boards detailing the missions of the land, sea, and air forces on D-Day.  Many hours of research, organization, and assembly had gone into completing the trifold boards, thanks to the dedicated efforts of Felicia and the interns I was honored to get to know and work with.  I, along with two other interns, was not the only one stationed in the tent for the day, however: a World War II veteran named Wally also set up shop in the tent, his table adorned with copies of a book he had written about his long lasting marriage and enthralling visitors and veterans alike with his gripping accounts of the war.  It was a privilege to get to know Wally, one of the many heroes being honored that day.  The ceremony itself lasted about an hour and a half and was a wonderful tribute to all of those who participated in arguably the most important day of the war.  Solemnity and gravity pervaded the air, but so did feelings of awe and appreciation.  After the ceremony, a new statue, “Homage,” a tribute to the Bedford Boys, was officially dedicated in a rousing and emotional observance, led by a World War II veteran who passionately chanted, “We will not forget!”  June 6th, 2014, will certainly be an anniversary to remember.
I would like to close by thanking all of those who I have worked with this past month, especially Felicia, my supervisor.  Without her dedication and effort, we never would have been able to accomplish what we did.  And to any veteran of World War II who may read this, I cannot thank you enough for your valor, fidelity, and sacrifice.
“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”
Winston Churchill
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