The Wolverine

June July 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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20 THE WOLVERINE JUNE/JULY 2018 cause of freedom," Harbaugh said after the guide had fin- ished and the flowers had been placed. "God bless America." Many players had researched soldiers from their hometowns and planned to visit their me- morial gravesites (their bodies were sent back to the United States), but the weather pre- vented them from going on the grass. Harbaugh, meanwhile, spent several minutes with his father, Jack, a former Michigan assistant, taking it all in. "I remember two years ago when Jim talked about it, plan- ning to go with football team, he talked about Paris and Nor- mandy. This is what I was really look- ing forward to," Jack Harbaugh said, looking around the symbolic cemetery. "You look at the crosses, see a name, see they're from the state of Ohio. That's a brother. "That's where we were from, and I realize at my age, he was just a few years older than I." Jack fought back tears when Jim ex- plained just how much it meant for him to be there with his family. "My dad, my daughter, our team … to be here with family," Harbaugh said, putting his arm around his dad. "That's a blessing." EXPLORING PARIS After a Monday, April 30 morning of paintball, mechanical bull riding and indoor soccer to unwind a bit, the Wolverines continued on their quest for knowledge. Graduate assistant and former Michigan linebacker James Ross' impending engagement was all the talk before the visit to the Palace of Versailles, home of the Kings Louis in the 1700s. It was cold and wet at the gardens, preventing too much walking around, and it was a Labor Day holiday in Paris, so the Palace was actually closed to the public. The team, however, got its own pri- vate tour, and it was phenomenal. It reached its peak once everyone was hurried through the Hall of Mirrors, the most famous room in the Palace. That's where Ross proposed to his girlfriend of five years, Omnielle Jordan, and players and coaches flocked from all rooms of the Palace to celebrate. Only Ross' fiancée, it seemed, wasn't in on the plan. James' brother, Michigan sophomore linebacker Josh, was holding the ring, and he passed it dis- creetly so Ms. Jordan wouldn't notice. "It's been in the works for about a couple months now," Ross said. "[Photographer] David Turnley, his experience here, just planning it out … it was originally supposed to be at the Eiffel Tower, nothing too big, but maybe three days be- fore going they were saying I might be able to do something even more special than that. I said, 'Okay; what's more spe- cial? Because I really don't know.'" Then they told him they were going to do it in the Hall of Mirrors. "I'm like, 'Okay … what is that?' And then I researched it and was like, 'Oh my God!'" he said. "David Turn- ley taking pictures, I couldn't have it any better way. "I was just blessed to be able to come on this trip and everything. I was jeal- ous — they weren't doing trips when I was here. When I left, they started it, and now I'm able to take part, and to also be able to be with my brother and lovely fiancée. It's just an amazing trip. I'm just blessed and really thankful for University of Michigan football." Tuesday, May 1 included a visit to the famous Sacre Coeur cathedral for a scavenger hunt of sorts, another learn- ing experience in which groups of Wol- verines were sent to take photos of famous landmarks while also getting to spend time at the cathedral. The Montmartre district was as French as it gets with its narrow brick streets and cafes, and the weather was perfect. A nearby restaurant also served as the rallying point for a community service opportunity. Salomon Kabongo-Kooper, executive director of Paris-based Serve the City, was asked to coordinate a mis- sion of sorts for the Wolverines, and he had them make sandwiches for the needy and sent groups out to spend time with refugees and others. Above: The Wolverines check out The Coronation of Napoleon painting at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. Right: Graduate assistant Roy Roundtree takes a selfie with the Venus de Milo. PHOTOS BY CHRIS BALAS Junior running back Tru Wilson, the son of a Marine, and associ- ate athletics director for football Sean Magee, a Naval Academy graduate, hold a U.S. flag at the Normandy American Cemetery. PHOTO BY CHRIS BALAS

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