Chicago Students Make Military Pilgrimage To France

September 10, 2018 - 6:00 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Students at Chicago Military Academy are leaving for a trip to France this week that will demonstrate the school's special bond to history.

The academy is housed in Bronzeville in what used to be the armory for the 8th Illinois Infantry, an African-American group of soldiers who fought alongside the French in World War I.

Cadet Andrea Estrada is eager to see firsthand the areas where the fighting 8th fought.

The group was not allowed to fight along with their white fellow American soldiers and it eventually was re-designated the 370th US Infantry Regiment.

Commandant Michael Striverson says students in his honors leadership class will tour towns liberated by the regiment that are still celebrating it.

The 12 students will join about two dozen others from the King College Prep band who left on Sunday.

That group is performing with French student musicians, many of whom they met on a trip to the Chicago area last spring.

The trip is sponsored by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation as an exchange with Gerard de Nerval High School (GNHS) in Soisson, France.