In Memory of the Valor and the Sacrifices which Hallow this soil.

thank you

Only a few days ago we celebrated the 75th anniversary of D-Day. People often forget that D-Day did not mark the end of WWII, it merely marked the beginning of the end.

So many sacrifices were still made in the days and months following D-Day. Thousands and thousands of mainly young men, some the same age as my own 2 sons, gave their lives for the freedom of strangers. Most of them did not know the people they were fighting for, all they knew is that an evil regime had to be beaten.

The title of this blog is a quote which engraved in the Marble reception hall of the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial  in Margraten in the Netherlands.

The cemetery was created in October 1944 under the leadership of Joseph Shomon of the 611th Graves Registration Company, as the Ninth United States Army pushed into the Netherlands from France and Belgium. American casualties from the area, and also those that fell in Germany were buried here (as Americans could not be buried permanently in enemy territory)

Margraten 1940s

Currently 8,301 souls are buried here.Stretching along the sides of the court are Tablets of the Missing on which are recorded 1,722 names. Totaling 10,023 souls remembered here. I could write pages and pages on honouting these men but there is only one word that really describes each single one of them-Heroes-.

Below are just some impression of this most hallow of places. Let us never forget.

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FLOWERS

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In this world where the greatest generation often gets disrespected, I am proud to see that there is still so much respect for the men and remembered here. The sight of 8301 pure white marble graves, is awesome,saddening and eerie at the same time, but these hallow soils are treated with the utmost respect.

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Sources

Own archive

Beeldbank WO2

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Overlord 75

 

D DAY75 years ago you embarked on something that had never been done before. 156,000 of you were dropped on the beaches in Normandy.

156,000 just imagine that. It is the equivalent of a medium sized city, like Alexandria in  Virginia USA.

Not all 156,000 made it, thousands died even before they reached the beaches.

Utah Beach;Omaha Beach;Gold Beach;Juno Beach and Sword Beach are now just beaches filled with sunbathers on a sunny day. How many of those sunbathers realize the sacrifices made on that sand, Sacrifices to secure their freedom, sacrifices so that they can walk,cycle, or just lie down in the sand.

How many know?

At time I despair at how many of these hard fought liberties are eroded by so called political correct agendas.

They call you the greatest generation, simply because you are.

I am thankful for what you have done. I will never ever forget the battles you fought to secure my freedom. The battles often fought seemingly in vain because so many died, But eventually you were the victors. We should therefor never be victims.

I salute each single one of you may you still walk on this earth or gone in peace in that big place in the sky.

The operation was called Operation Overlord- Overlord has turned 75 today. 75 years, 900 months.

D-DAY MEN

 

They gave their today for our tomorrow.

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They gave their today for our tomorrow.

Our tomorrow was sacred to them.

They gave their today for our tomorrow..

Sacrificing their own lives for those they would never meet.

They gave their today for our tomorrow..

A tomorrow which we should cherish even more.

They gave their today for our tomorrow.

Their bravery should forever be remembered and ingrained in our hearts.

They gave their today for our tomorrow.

To those who gave their today for my tomorrow, I bow humbly and respectfully and hope I was worth your sacrifice.

(The picture above is of a badly injured US soldier receivING the last Sacrament from Chaplain Anthony Dolavira of Brooklyn, somewhere behind the lines in France. The pictures below are of the Netherlands American War Cemetery in Margraten)

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Walter C. Wetzel-Fallen Hero

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Dear Sir, you don’t know it but I owe you so much,possibly my life.

Often have I visited the cemetery where your final resting place is. I may have even stood at your grave, contemplating why you and your band of brothers that surround you,sacrificed their lives in a land that was not theirs.

Margraten

It couldn’t have been for money because your salary wasn’t enough to sustain you. No it was for something noble,Freedom, and not just an freedom but my freedom and that of my generation and the generation before me and future generations. For that I thank you.

Today I hang my head in shame. for someone who calls himself a warrior and is hailed as a hero, a multi-millionaire,this “hero” displayed all the signs of a thug,hooligan and criminal. This is not what you gave your life for.

Wetzel joined the Army from Roseville, Michiganwetzel_port in July 1941,and by April 3, 1945 was serving as a private first class in the 13th Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division. On that day, in Birken, Germany, Wetzel smothered the blasts of German-thrown grenades with his body, sacrificing himself to protect those around him. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor ten months later, on February 26, 1946, by President Harry S. Truman.

 

CITATION:
“The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Private First Class Walter C. Wetzel, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty. Private First Class Wetzel, an acting squad leader with the Anti-Tank Company of the 13th Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division, was guarding his platoon’s command post in a house at Birken, Germany, during the early morning hours of 3 April 1945, when he detected strong enemy forces moving in to attack. He ran into the house, alerted the occupants and immediately began defending the post against heavy automatic weapons fire coming from the hostile troops. Under cover of darkness the Germans forced their way close to the building where they hurled grenades, two of which landed in the room where Private First Class Wetzel and the others had taken up firing positions. Shouting a warning to his fellow soldiers, Private First Class Wetzel threw himself on the grenades and, as they exploded, absorbed their entire blast, suffering wounds from which he died. The supreme gallantry of Private First Class Wetzel saved his comrades from death or serious injury and made it possible for them to continue the defense of the command post and break the power of a dangerous local counterthrust by the enemy. His unhesitating sacrifice of his life was in keeping with the U.S. Army’s highest traditions of bravery and heroism.”

Dear Sir I salute you.

 

 

 

Honouring a fallen Father on Father s day

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To most of us,including me Joseph H. Hercker is just a random name. But to Joan Hercker it is the name of her Father. A man who sacrificed his future Father’s days so that others could celebrate theirs.

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He was born 2 July 1918,Philadelphia,Pennsylvania.

In February 1945 Joseph Hercker was stationed in France

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As a member of the Crusader Group, andflew 16 combat sorties between February 6 andApril 3, 1945, in the European Theater of Operations.

On April 3, after completing a”medium” bombing mission of marshalling yards
at Hameln and Holzmeinden in central Germany,his plane was separated from the rest of the formation in overcast weather.

It is not clear what happened, but when the formation broke cover there was no sign of his aircraft, and it never made it back to base. Joseph Hercker and the pilot, William Norlund, an only child from Vineland, were Killed in Action. Hercker was
buried first in Ittenbach No. 1, Germany,eventually his wife was asked if she wanted him brought back to the States or buried in the Netherlands.

Hercker parents thought she had been through enough already, so his final resting place is at the American war cemetery in Margraten, the Netherlands.

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Dear Sir I thank you and salute you. Your sacrifice and bravery has bought my freedom. I pledge that I will use this freedom keeping your memory and the memories of your brothers in arms alive.

NEVER FORGET

 

8409107_origThis is not going to be a political blog but there is no denying that the world in 2017 slowly starts to resemble the world in the 1920/1930s.

The one difference is it is not too late to do something about it. Below are just some reminders of what could happen if we don’t come to our senses.We should stop being offended by trivial things and start focusing on things that really matter.The pictures are not only of the Holocaust but also of men and women who gave their lives fighting for freedom.

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Russia, June 1941: Men in civilian clothes grab a Jewish man who has beaten down outside a building guarded by Germans; unidentified location. Note the woman on the left background gasping at the sight of the violence dealt upon the victim. The Germans are of course disinterested.

Floyd M. Baldry was born on 16 september 1920 in Scobey, Montana. He was a son of John P. Baldry and Lizzie Baldrie. Baldry enlisted on 16 september 1940. He was serving in B Company. During Operation Overlord (D-Day) private first class Baldry was awarded a Silver Star for gallantry in action in Normandy. He was among the first down in Normandy and battled for a time unsupported, inflicting severe losses on the enemy and gained strategic ground and held it.Baldry was fighting near Mook on 21 september 1944. The Germans attacked the American positions and Baldry was killed.

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Sharing the exact same birthday as Floyd M. Baldry is Hannie Schaft, also known as “het meisje met het rode haar” (the girls with the red hair)A Dutch resistance fighter who was executed on 17 April 1945, three weeks before the war ended.

holocaust-survivor-facts

Between 1933 and 1945, more than 11 million men, women, and children were murdered in the Holocaust. Approximately six million of these were Jews.Of the nine million Jews who lived in Europe before the Holocaust, an estimated 2/3 were murdered. Millions of others, including those who were disabled, political and religious opponents to Hitler, Romanies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and homosexuals, were also murdered.

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Nazi crimes against the Polish nation claimed the lives of 2.77 million Christian Poles,and 2.7 to 3 million Polish Jews, according to estimates of the Polish government-affiliated Institute of National Remembrance.The crimes were committed during the course of the 1939 invasion,as well as the subsequent occupation of Poland.The genocidal policy of the German Third Reich against the Polish nation was the epicenter of Nazi German war crimes .


Dorothy J. Burdge was a school teacher before going overseas as a Red Cross worker. She was sent overseas by the Red Cross in September 1943 and served in England and followed the American troops to Normandy, through France and Belgium and finally to Germany. She operated a Red Cross clubmobile with her sister Grace. She was killed in a plane crash in Germany on the 1st of May 1945.

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Evil beyond comprehension based on a notion that one man is better than another man or is more entitled.

Lt Robert F Morris,died on 8 April 1945 when his plane crashed.