BEDFORD (WSLS 10) - For the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets, Labor Day helps to mark the start of a new semester and continues a tradition.
Every year, cadets visit the D- Day Memorial in Bedford; however, this year's trip came with a twist after a group of students traveled to the beaches of Normandy.
"We got the opportunity to visit all the sites of D-Day" said Cadet Kevin Byerly.
Twelve cadets traveled to France during the summer as part of the Global Scholar program
"It was very humbling and very eye-opening for me," said Cadet Noel Sheaffer. "Standing where those soldiers had stood and seeing the terrain."
Each cadet focused on a specific topic, which they studied throughout the school year and during their week-long trip overseas.
"It is an entirely different experience, studying it and presenting it in a classroom versus standing on Utah Beach," continued Byerly.
Now the seniors hope to use their experience to make an impact on freshman cadets.
"I hope it registers after this experience, really kind of everything that those troops on the ground went with through" said Cadet Sheaffer. "The importance of unit cohesion and working with the people beside you and trusting those people."
From the stories shared this Labor Day, cadets hope their classmates walk away with a better appreciation of the valor and sacrifices of service-members.