We received the following email from Andrew Seaton who recently traveled with us on our Band of Brothers® Tour. We often have people who are interested in our tours ask, what makes your WWII tours better than other companies? Andrew really nailed it when he said, “this journey taught me the difference between sight-seeing and a historical tour.”
Our founder, historian and author Stephen E. Ambrose, had a passion for teaching Americans about their nation’s heritage and her heroes, which motivated him to found Stephen Ambrose Historical Tours. We are happy to learn from Andrew that we are carrying on Dr. Ambrose’s legacy.
Thank you, Andrew, for taking the time to share your experience with all of us!
Band of Brothers® Tour: “This Trip Has Changed Me”
Hi Chris, thank you for reaching out. I’ve been meaning to follow up since heading out in Munich since I wasn’t really able to articulate my thoughts at the farewell dinner.
First off, as others have mentioned, thank you and George so much for this. When I signed up for this, I presumed this would primarily be a sight-seeing trip. If nothing else, this journey taught me the difference between sight-seeing and a historical tour. This most certainly was the latter. It dawns on me that I’ve never really gone on a tour through history; that is, hearing their voices, walking in their steps, and seeing what they saw. Throughout this journey, that’s exactly what I did, and over the course of two weeks I think this was all just building up inside.
Which leads me to what I was really trying (and failing) to share with the three words I was able to muster. The truth is, this entire journey truly could be summed up with those three words: “I didn’t know”. As I mentioned, I myself am a veteran, having served onboard the USS Carl Vinson during Operation Enduring Freedom. And as a Navy vet, I’m much more versed in the War in the Pacific. I also spent significant time in 4th grade as a child learning details about the Holocaust, both reading and watching the movie of Corrie Ten Boom. So, while I was certainly familiar with the War in general, my knowledge of the European Front was almost exclusively limited to Saving Private Ryan.
Initially my primary reason for joining this trip was to spend time with my father. I hadn’t watched Band of Brothers outside of a couple episodes, and even then, somehow it never truly occurred to me that these events really happened. I had no idea about the history of the Paratroopers or their significance, never heard of Market Garden or the Battle of the Bulge, the significance of Berchtesgaden, etc. By the end of the first week, I knew this was something special, and why he was so excited to take this adventure. I get it now.
In essence, feelings were thus evenly split between shame and gratitude. Shame that I never truly understood the sacrifice and patriotism of these men, but gratitude not only for them, but for everyone involved in creating this tour. This trip is something that I truly believe will change every single person’s perspective on the world for the better. And this trip has changed me, even if only intangibly. cannot thank you, George, and Matt enough. This has been one of the greatest experiences of my life, and I will never forget it.