Local Heart, Global Soul

September 9, 2015

Land For America: A Gift From The Dutch People…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following yesterday’s post, Family Kiwidutch are visiting a place who’s entrance started as a puzzle and then became clear. This is the site of the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial.

We drive in and both Himself and I are keen to take a look around, but the kids say they would rather stay in the car. Wanting to take turns to look around I stay with the children whilst Himself goes off.

After about five minutes Kiwi Daughter says she would like to join look around after all and then Little Mr decided that he didn’t want to miss anything either so we all went to join Himself.

Later when we went to leave, both kids mentioned that they were pleased that they didn’t just stay in the car because they thought this was really worth visiting. I was more than proud of their grown up attitude and that they too are learning to appreciate places like these.

I have always tried to observe our own Remembrance days, somewhere some how I have always valued the sacrifice that people have made for my freedom, maybe it’s coming from a Dutch family where accounts of  family war events  told to me as a kid made a deep impression… who knows, but war memorials and remembrance ceremonies have always been important to me.

Around the corner from the car  park is a long rectangular walled area, at the beginning there are several additional buildings on the right and a partly open, covered structure on the left.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The right hand building houses an office where a bus tour of American visitors are queuing and getting information  from a man busy at a desk looking up names, regiments and their corresponding burial plot locations.

The open building on the left has a series of  large informational maps, and a group of musicians are setting up for some sort of musical event. There is a plaque close by that says:

“The Netherlands American Cemetery is the only American military cemetery in The Netherlands.

8,301 war dead of the United States of America from World War II rest here. Most died late in 1944 and in 1945, in the airborne and ground operations in eastern Holland, during the advances into Germany over the Roer and across the Rhine, and in air operations over these regions.
Additionally, the names of the 1,722 Americans whose remains were never recovered or not identified are inscribed along each side of the Court of Honor. A bronze rosette marks the names of those who were subsequently found. 105 headstones mark the graves of the 106 “unknowns”. The construction and care of this 65.5 acre cemetery and memorial are the responsibility of the American Battle Monuments Commission, an agency of the United States Government. Use of the land was granted, in perpetuity, by the people of the Netherlands.”

The walls are beautiful, peaceful and somber… in the center between the two long side walls is a long reflecting pool headed by a statue and a tall tower… but back to the names on the wall… they are beautiful. May each and every one of them Rest in Peace.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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