To start off Wednesday, July 19, we began the day with a group activity. We were first met by Lee in the Kingfisher which was a greeting to us. He began the day by placing us in the seats of a regiment that was on the verge of going into the fight. He treated us as his regiment that he was leading. We were told the plan was to go get a lookout in enemy territory. For the next couple hours, we drove to different locations that the Canadian forces would have gone to to get Intel and a perspective on the location in which they were and to learn the whereabouts of the Germans. We were told to locate ourselves on our syndicate's maps without and help from out leaders. This part really have us some perspective on how difficult and tactical these attacks actually had to be. By being placed in the shoes of the soldiers, a sense of nervousness was cast upon the group which is shows that to actually be in that position as unimaginable. From there, we were placed into the shoes of the FOOs and were told to take some time to figure out where we would place our troops given to us in order to retain control of Caen. This was a very interesting activity as we had to debate and compromise with our groups as to where the smart locations would be to place our respected forces. From there, we all went to the Abbey d'Ardenne. This is a location in which 20 Canadian soldiers were taken prisoners of war by German officer Kurt Meyer. Meyer then murdered these men for reasons of a waste of rations. Meyer was later convicted of war crimes and was sentenced to a death penalty which was later reduced to life in prison but was then released after 9 years. The Abbey d'Ardenne was a very emotional location for the entire group as we could not help but feel for these soldiers that were killed in cold blood. It really hit me hard as my soldier was one of these men murdered; George Gill. After getting to explore the Abbey d'Ardenne, we left to the cemetery where we had four soldier bios. The emotional day did not get any lighter as we entered the Beny-sur-mer cemetery. Ben, Simone, Jennelle and myself all said our soldier bios and the day didn't get any less emotional. We finished off the day with a seminar by Lorelei. Lorelei's seminar was based off of the question I had composed during the presentation of my soldier bio. The question was: "When looking at this case, a question kept running through my head. In a time of war, is it necessary to abandon all human morals, vaLues and beliefs? Or is it possible to remain humane and follow international laws to sustain human values?". Now this question that I had composed during my bio reading was the focal point of Lorelei's seminar and this brought up a very deep and strong conversation involving all the teachers and students. In conclusion, this day was very emotional but it was very meaningful. I think it was one of my favourite days of the tour as so many elements that had not been explored were explored such as international law and ethical dimensions.
- Submitted by Andrew