Local Heart, Global Soul

September 11, 2015

Such A Waste Of Precious Lives, Such A Price Paid…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Family Kiwidutch are visiting the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial in Limburg.

We make our way past the long lines of names inscribed on the memorial walls and past the reflecting pool and statue.

On the other side of the tower I find myself looking out on rows and rows of pristine white graves.

Himself and the kids were moving far faster than I was, and have already started walking up and along the graves.

There is a chapel in the base of the tower and the bus tour group that I saw earlier are exiting it and making their way towards the graves.

However one of the men from the group is sitting alone on the steps on the side of the tower where I have come out. He was an older gentlemen, sitting hunched over, sobbing his eyes out.

His shoulders were heaving and he was sniffing loudly. He was a total stranger and I didn’t really know what to say or do. I had a packet of tissues in my jacket pocket so I took the packet out and went up to him, giving it to him and then patted him on the shoulder. Everything was done is silence, there were no words that I could think of to help him. He nodded his thanks and the tears were streaming down his face. In order to leave him in peace, I went into the chapel and when I came out he was gone, I assumed he had joined the rest of his group. I can only imagine that maybe he had found the grave of his father or grandfather here. The entire atmosphere of the place was emotional, I had trouble not to cry when I saw all of those graves. Such a waste of precious lives. Such a price paid. War is so futile. 

(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)

This crown was made and donated by the Dutch Government on behalf of the Dutch people…

(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)

September 10, 2015

Time To Reflect…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following yesterday’s post, Family Kiwidutch are visiting the Netherlands American War cemetery and memorial in Limburg. There is a beautiful reflecting pool and statue between the walls that have the names of the fallen on it. The information plaque continues:

After World War I, the American Battle Monuments Commission erected a memorial chapel in each of the eight American military cemeteries in Europe, as well as eleven battlefield monuments.

At the end of World War II, fourteen additional military cemeteries were established overseas.

Each contains a memorial with a record  in permanent graphic form of the achievements of the U.S. Armed Forces in that region.

The graves in these World War I And World War II cemeteries number approximately 39 percent of those originally buried. The remains of the other 61 percent were returned home at the request of the next of kin.

white marble headstone marks each grave, a Star of David for those of the Jewish faith, a Latin cross for all the others. Each of the memorials are inscribed with the names of the missing who gave their lives in that region.

The American Battle Monuments Commission also operates two cemeteries in Latin America, the final resting place of the War of 1847 and of those who contributed to the construction of the Panama Canal. An American Superintendent manages each cemetery. English-speaking personnel are available during opening hours to offer information and assistance.”

The statue and the surroundings are beautiful, these photographs speak for themselves…

(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)

 

 

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)

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.