For 10-year-old John there is no better way to spend the day than flipping through the pages of his history books. Lost in the details of war, jumping from one battle to the next, John has become completely enthralled with the specifics of World War II. Labeled a “history buff” by both of his parents, he enjoys researching every aspect of war—the airplanes, bunkers, tanks and uniforms—so that he can build his own miniature mock battle scenes in his free time. Though John is living with a hematologic disorder, there isn’t a thing in the world that can stop him from advancing his understanding. Time is passed at each doctor’s appointment with his favorite books and a short history lesson for everyone willing to listen. However, a special gift in the form of a wish-come-true would give John the best learning experience he could ever dream of. A trip to London to visit the historical World War II locations was a wish of a lifetime and Make-A-Wish®
From the moment John and his family landed in London, John was in awe of the endless list of things to see and do abroad. While everyone wanted to relax, John didn’t want to waste any time. John and his family had a busy trip. In addition to visiting Churchill War Rooms, ‘Britain at War’ Experience and the Imperial War Museum, the group also visited Dover Castle. Three miles of underground tunnels allowed John to experience the sights, sounds and smells of war. Through fabricated explosions and lighting effects, John was transported back in time. “Everything he had ever read came to life on our trip,” Candace, John’s mom, shared. “It felt so real and he loved every minute of it”. While the train rides and bus trips proved enough entertainment for John’s siblings, he had fun exploring every inch of the places he visited. He read and saw everything the museums had to offer, even stopping to ask questions along the way. “He was completely fascinated during every part of our trip,” Candace recalled.
“Too soon” they claimed as it was time to head back to Colorado. For John and his family, the trip was a week for them to put aside all their worries and create lifelong memories. Until they have the chance to return to London, you can find John’s nose in yet another history book researching the places to visit on their next trip.