Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cadets' Life Changing Experience through the Auschwitz Jewish Center

This blog is from Shiri Sandler, our Manager of International Programs.

Today in The Forward, Don Snyder speaks eloquently about traveling with this year’s American Service Academies Program. I have had the distinct pleasure of traveling with cadets and midshipmen from the U.S. Air Force, Naval, Military, and Coast Guard Academies as they take this annual journey to Washington, D.C.; New York; and Poland to learn about the Holocaust and military ethics. Calling up memories of these students and their responses to this experience, Don’s piece spoke to me about not only the importance of this program, but the incredible nature of the students with whom we are so lucky to work.

Introducing these brilliant and determined young people to the history of the Holocaust and the beautiful past of the destroyed Jewish culture is an honor. It is knowing that they’ll take these lessons forward to the men and women they’ll command in the U.S. Armed Forces that really matters to me, though. This morning, after the article came out, I heard from a friend who works in Islamic Studies, who, through tears, told me how much these students’ words mattered to her. The words of these future officers have a universal power.

This program offers a unique education, but it is about more than learning dates and seeing sites; it offers lessons in maintaining and safeguarding humanity, learning to look past differences, remembering morals, and linking ourselves, and our future, to our common past.

Please view the article here.

Photo by: Krzysztof Galicia

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