How Vantage salutes sacrifice — on Veterans Day and every day

Sarah Sweeney November 11, 2018

Vantage is proud to offer veterans, active servicepeople, and their families up to $1,000 savings on any January-June 2019 journey when reserved by Nov. 14, 2018.

“The eyes of the world are upon you,” General Dwight Eisenhower told American troops in a message sent just before the Allied Invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. “I have full confidence in your courage and devotion to duty and skill in battle.”

What happened next is the stuff of legend, blockbuster movies, and oral histories passed down in classrooms and from one generation to the next. By the end of August, the Normandy landings had liberated France, loosened Hitler’s grip over western Europe, and ushered in new momentum to defeat the Nazis for good.

But what’s often lost within this dramatic war story is the enduring relationship between France and the U.S. — a relationship with Normandy at its very core.

While the Statue of Liberty remains the starkest symbol of French presence in the U.S., over in France, the American presence is decidedly more somber. Just days after the D-Day invasion kicked off, the U.S. First Army established what would become the first American cemetery on European soil in World War II.

Today, the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial contains the graves of nearly 10,000 military dead over 172.5 acres of land. Yet this American monument, managed by the American Battle Monuments Commission, exists because of the free and perpetual concession to the land as authorized by the French government.

France is also of utmost importance to Vantage Founder and Chairman, Henry R. Lewis, whose father was one of the more than 300,000 young soldiers who landed on Normandy’s shores on those history-changing days. “It wasn’t until after my father died, however, that I realized … that if my generation didn’t take responsibility for passing along the legacy of our World War II heroes, our memory of the incredible sacrifices they made would fade away,” said Lewis.

Vantage is dedicated to honoring the struggle and sacrifice of our troops, as well as the shared history of U.S. and Europe, on Veterans Day and every day. That’s why each departure of France Culinary Delights: Paris to Normandy brings travelers to the American Cemetery for a firsthand look at history, and it’s also why Vantage launched its Heroes Program as a way to honor both veterans and life’s everyday heroes.

Earlier this year, Vantage Heroes whisked 11 servicewomen on a free trip to France for Memorial Day and 19 wounded soldiers from the Israel-based organization Brothers for Life to France in 2017.

WATCH VIDEO: https://vimeo.com/278178048

Journey with Vantage in 2019 and commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings with a visit to the American Cemetery on a departure of France Culinary Delights.

“As proud as I am of my father and his service, I know he was just one of many thousands of heroes who left their homes and families to fight for freedom,” said Lewis. “And perhaps, like me, you made a vague promise to one day go to Normandy to honor those soldiers and that time of heroism.”