“I do not want what these guys did to ever be forgotten,” Christopher Adam, a Trinity High School sophomore, said about his recently completed Eagle Scout project at the United States Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle.
Seventy-five years ago this past June 6, 160,000 Allied Troops stormed a 50-mile stretch of five beaches near Normandy, France, to liberate Europe from the grasp of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi forces. 16 million Americans fought in World War II, and less than 500,000 are still alive today – some 1,100 die every day, so the sands of time are slowly marking the passing of the Greatest Generation.
“I probably spent about 1,500 hours on this project,” Christopher said. “Nothing good comes without hard work. That much I learned for sure.”
His project is a sculpture action and memorial site dedicated to the heroic fighting on Omaha, Utah, Gold, Juno and Sword beaches, which fronted the heavily-fortified beach walls that were littered with German heavy artillery and machine guns. Nearly 3,000 Americans lost their lives in just a few hours’ time that fateful June day in 1944.
On Nov. 9, all of Christopher’s hard work culminated with a powerful and poignant dedication ceremony attended by more than 400 people braving a chilly but pleasant morning. Nearly 30 WWII veterans attended the ceremony that featured patriotic musical renditions, the unveiling of the sculpture set and a unique moment in which the veterans partook.
Two summers ago, Christopher and his family traveled to Normandy, and there he collected a small sample of sand, which each veteran poured around the base of the monument. The 90-plus year-old veterans were visibly touched when pouring the sands, bringing Normandy to Carlisle.
“I really wanted a real element of Normandy to the project,” Christopher said. Mission accomplished.
Christopher spent more than a year and a half on the project, and the monument site, dubbed Liberation Pointe, also contains a number of educational boards that are wonderfully detailed and highly informative. And the research was all done by Christopher, which arguably is the most impressive touch brought to this stellar Eagle Scout project.
“I obviously need to thank my family, especially my mom and dad, and for taking me places to learn and for giving me a kick in the butt when I most needed it…. All my teachers and friends have been very complimentary about the project and I am thankful to all the many sponsors and supporters for this project,” Christopher said. “Really thankful.”
By Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness