Story by: C/SGT Hailey Tudor
Photos by: MAJ (R) Madonna Roberts and C/SGT Hailey Tudor
Journey of Honor: A Cadet’s Reflection on the Veterans Day Trip to Belgium
On Friday, 10 November 2023, forty-two Cadets from the 9th JROTC Battalion, Ansbach Middle High School embarked on an unforgettable Veterans Day trip to Ypres, Belgium. The Veterans Day trip memorialized soldiers fallen in the First World War. We honor the fallen, so they can never be forgotten, and are always with us.
When we arrived, our first stop was our hostel. The Cadets settled in, then headed on to attend the Passchendaele Commemoration and Torch March. Cadets marched 800 meters in the torch walk memorializing Canadians, symbolizing the last few hundred meters of the three-month fight for the village.
On Saturday, we wore our ASU uniform and marched in the Ypres Poppy Parade. After the parade and the Last Post ceremony, we changed into our civilian clothes and took a tour via bus. Cadets visited Tyne Cot Cemetery, Langemark German Cemetery, along with Saint-Charles de Potze French cemetery, and the New Irish Farm Cemetery. We also visited the Yorkshire Trench and Dugout. After a tasty meal, we attended The Great War Remembered concert at St Martin’s Cathedral. Through music and pictures, the concert showed us what World War I was like for Flanders before, during, and after the war.
On the 3rd day, Cadets went to the Passchendaele Museum. Cadets also went to the Essex Farm Cemetery where the well-known poem “In Flanders Field” was written. Cadets then visited Talbot House, a British R&R club, where the Cadets enjoyed a tour of the history of the building and tea. We also went to see the Poppenringe jail cell, an execution post, and a cell. Cadets heard a story about Herbert Morris who was executed there for desertion.
Since Monday was our last day, the Cadets had limited time. We started loading up the bus for departure, wore our uniforms, and went to Flanders Field Museum and then visited Flanders American Cemetery. Cadets laid carnations for the fallen to commemorate and show they are still remembered. Our Cadets then changed on the bus to civilian clothes and started our journey home. While our time was short, Belgium was a glorious place with lovely people and fantastic sights. Many of us agreed we learned a lot and would enjoy going back.