Coast Guard Academy cadets participate in American Service Academies Program

Coast Guard Academy NewsNEW LONDON, Conn. — Luke Canari and Peter Driscoll are among the fourteen cadets and midshipmen from the U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy chosen by the Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation (AJCF) to participate in the Center’s American Service Academies Program. Through participating in the program, the cadets and midshipmen will learn how to examine history, become an ambassador of ethical behavior, and take responsibility for upholding these values as a future military leader.

Driscoll, who is a government major, says, “As a future Coast Guard officer, I will one day make decisions affecting more than myself: they will affect my crew, my boat, my service, and consequently my country. The ASAP provides me the opportunity… [to learn] from the tragic mistakes and policies of the Holocaust. Good leaders constantly absorb lessons that will improve their ability to decide and implement policy.”

Cadets and midshipmen began orientation in Washington, D.C. and visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. On June 2, students arrived in New York City and attended additional training at the Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust before going on to Poland for two weeks. During this focused preparation, participants will learn about the Holocaust and contemporary moral and ethical matters, meet with historians and staff members from the two museums, take part in workshops on military leadership, hear survivor testimony, and tour the institutions.

While in Poland, the participants will learn first-hand about the rich, vibrant life of Jews in pre-war Poland, especially in the town of Oświęcim (Auschwitz). Each student will meet with Polish and American leaders, visit historic Jewish sites, attend workshops with Holocaust survivors and historians, and visit and attend seminars at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps, among other activities. The immersive program in Oświęcim will help future military leaders understand what can happen in the absence of open and democratic governance, the ongoing relevance of the Holocaust to their work, and inspire and empower them to share their insights and understanding with others.

The program is supported by The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.

The Auschwitz Jewish Center is operated by the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust from the Museum’s New York City campus. The Center opened its doors in 2000 and joined with the Museum in 2006. Located just three kilometers from the Auschwitz–Birkenau death camps, the Center provides a place for individuals and groups from around the world to pray, study, and learn about the vibrancy of Jewish culture before the war, and memorialize victims of the Holocaust. The only Jewish presence in the vicinity of Auschwitz, the Center’s facilities include Oświęcim’s only surviving synagogue.

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