Alumni Reflections: N. Cohen, Southwest United States, 2012

What is the name of the March of the Living Delegation / Group that you traveled with? Southwest United States

Year(s) attended: 2012

What was the most memorable moment of your experience? The most memorable moment for me was when we visited a train station, and we were able to get into one of the cattle cars. There was a sign on the outside of it that said something like “for safety reasons, a maximum of people at a time” and that sign make me sick.The irony of that sign infuriated me.

What impact did Poland have on you? Poland made me realize all the things I take for granted. By the time we went to Israel, I was exhausted and felt so guilty for the little things I complained about and all the things I don’t appreciate.

What impact did Israel have on you? It was beautiful to look at how much we have accomplished and still continue to accomplish. The pride Israeli’s have for who they are was so inspiring, I loved every minute of it.

How were you impacted by the overall experience? The overall experience really opened my eyes. I had studied about the Holocaust in school many times over the years, but it is a completely different experience being face to face with concentration camps, smelling the gas in the chambers and human decomposition in the crematoriums than it is reading about it and looking at pictures. To this day I have vivid memories, I cry when I see something Holocaust related on TV, the Internet or the news. I can’t watch my trip video because it is too painful to relive it. I really realized how truly selfish I had been before, and how appreciative I should be.

What else would you like to share about your experience? This trip was the best decision I’ve made in my life so far. I am so glad I went on it. As tough as it was, and as much sadness as it still gives me, I believe it is a trip everyone should go on. I learned so much more than I ever could have in school. Going on the March with 10,000+ people is the most empowering experience I’ve ever had.