Gerrit Reintjes, Holland
"Now, after sixty-three years,
we may send a message from Veulen to our British liberators.
Veulen is a small
agricultural village with 500 inhabitants. It is one of the ten
villages of the municipality Venray. Venray is situated in the
southeast of the Netherlands, close to the German border.
There is a British war
cemetery in Venray, where almost 700 brave liberators have found
their last resting-place. They lost their lives for our freedom.
Every year on the second Sunday in September there is an
impressive Remembrance. Every year many veterans visit the
cemetery and remember their friends.
During the Second World
War, heavy fights took place between the Allies and the Germans
in Venray and surroundings. In the autumn of 1944 the frontline
ran right through our village for six weeks. There was a very
heavy battle and 58 brave English and Scottish soldiers lost
their lives during this fight. Also a Halifax bomber crashed in
our village and 7 airmen were killed.
As the people of Dover have
done, we will erect a memorial for these brave soldiers. We have
had the idea to make this memorial from a piece of the cliffs
from Dover. This will bring (symbolically) a piece of their
homeland, which they never saw again, to the place where they
In 1994 to commemorate the 50th
anniversary of our liberation, a young girl read this poem:
I am twenty-one years
born a long time after Word War II
I visited school in freedom
I have a car and go out in the
weekends to the disco
I have parents
I have a home
I never have been hungry
I donít know what war is
What is hunger?
What is a concentration camp?
What is a raid?
What is a bomb?
What is an evacuation?
What is terror?
I know that we are free!
I know that many of our
liberators have paid for our freedom with their lives.
I know that we do not often
A thousand times thanks to our
liberators for our freedom!
Thatís what I and all the
people from Veulen would like to say to you!
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