Several European companies took steps towards their futures this week: OpenSkies and L’Avion completed their long-anticipated merger, enabling travelers to share their miles between the companies and fly more easily; Holland.com continued to use new online media to reach out to potential travelers, attracting a new generation to the destination; and the Alpha Bravo, the final British Concorde jet, may be dismantled and sent to Dubai.
But perhaps the most poignant news to come from Europe this week was the announcement of activities planned to honor the 65th anniversary of D-Day. Thousands of people visit Normandy every year to see the place where the tide of war changed, and the area has done much to preserve its heritage. Life-sized photographs display what the area looked like before and after the invasion, buildings and tanks are preserved where they stood in wartime, and museums present artifacts and videos from what has been called “the longest day.” As time marches on, there are fewer and fewer people alive who remember that day first-hand, and it is the duty of the next generation to preserve the memories and learn from history. (Why, yes, I am the daughter of two history teachers; why do you ask?)
Encourage your clients to visit Normandy this summer. The trip can be almost like a pilgrimage, and while the travel industry keeps pressing forward into the future, it is good to look back and remember the past.