CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated that Carrot-Top Industries is a flag-producing company. Carrot-Top Industries only sells flags, it does not produce them. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for this error.
A handful of students and teachers from Smith Middle School will accompany two World War II veterans on a trip to Normandy, France for a ceremony honoring those who fought on D-Day.
June 6 marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day. A festival in Normandy will be held to remember the pivotal World War II battle. In the attendance of this year's program will be President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron, as well as hundreds of French citizens.
Transporting veterans to their own celebration is often difficult because of the cost of travel and accommodations the veterans may need.
That’s why six high school students, as well as two Smith Middle School teachers, decided to help WWII veterans George Chall and Jacques Michienzi back where they fought 75 years ago.
“The students held weekly meetings every Saturday morning starting in September and used their time to plan events to raise money," Robin McMahon, a Smith Middle School French teacher who helped put together the project, said.
They raised money through a booth at the school's Global Connections Night, a presentation about the war from a local historian, selling concessions at school dances and functions and an event at the North Carolina Botanical Garden that featured a guest lecturer, catered food and a silent auction. They also raised money through GoFundMe.
Even with the money received from events, the students still needed more support, which they received from local companies such as Carrot-Top Industries, Inc. The American flag-selling company is providing flags to place in honor of the relatives of those who donated to the project, and even shared the project on the front page of their website.
“I feel like I am going even though I am not!” Tina Williamson, a Carrot-Top Industries representative, said.