Our journey began with a trip to Luxembourg in 2016 arranged by the Luxembourg American Cultural Society. We went to Luxembourg with a slim idea of what to expect, having only spent a whirlwind 24-hours in Luxembourg City as a stop-over on a previous trip two years prior. In those two years we learned more about our Luxembourgish heritage, discovered we qualified to reclaim our ancestor’s Luxembourgish citizenship, and began the process to become dual-citizens. While the purpose of this new adventure was to submit our paperwork for the second stage of this process, we soon realized this experience would come to mean much more to us.
As we traveled around Luxembourg, we became immersed in its history and culture. We were surprised to find WWII memory was still present across the landscape of Luxembourg. Towns have streets named after United States’ presidents and generals, American flags fly next to Luxembourg flags, and various museums, markers, and memorials honor specific soldiers or divisions integral to the specific town’s memory. We learned how American forces liberated the country from German occupation twice, first in September 1944 and again in early 1945. While almost seventy-five years have passed since its liberation, Luxembourg has not forgotten its American friends.
Seeing these forms of public memory have stuck with us, and as Luxembourg-Americans, we wanted to find a way to contribute to and preserve this memory. These personal motivations have led us to create this platform, From Grateful Friends, in which we humbly attempt to share stories of bravery, perseverance, loss, respect, and friendship.
Katie Woods – Katie received a Bachelor of Arts in History and Sociology at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in History with a Concentration in Public History, as well as a Digital Humanities Certificate, at Northeastern University. Her primary topics of interest include 20th Century U.S. and European History; Construction of race, class, and gender; and Public Memory.
Megan Woods – Megan received a Bachelor of Arts in History and Humanistic Studies at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in History with a Concentration in Public History, as well as a Digital Humanities Certificate, at Northeastern University. Her research interests include 20th Century American Politics and Culture; The World Wars; The British Monarchy and social classes; and Public Memory.