[Categories: TRAVEL, PHOTOGRAPHY, EUROPE, WWII]
(See previous posts for what this tour is about.) (As always, click on photos to enlarge or play movie.)
Sunday afternoon 6 May we pay our respects at Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery.
There are 7,992 American soldiers buried here.
We are greeted and have a wreath-laying ceremony.
Family Vandenbroucke is greeting ME because Nathalie (r.) is adopting my Uncle John’s grave. Her mother Janine is with her (l.).
Nathalie’s father Jacque is here with Nancy.
The same Air Force color guard that was with us at Margraten and had lunch with us at the Remembrance Museum is here at Henri-Chapelle.
Many of the Dutch and Belgian Friends of the Timberwolves are here also.
Timberwolf vet Bill is bandaged as he took a spill on the stone at Margraten. He scraped himself pretty good but not a word of complaint from him
Timberwolf vet John says a few words.
WWII vet Bob says a few words.
Nathalie, Janine, and Jacques Vandenbroucke, Nancy, and I have a small ceremony at my Uncle John’s gravesite. Nathalie is adopting it and will place flowers there on ceremonious occasions throughout the year. Many local families do this to honor the veterans. To me this is an incredible honor for my Uncle John and my living family. My Uncle John was my mother’s brother. He was killed in action 5 March 1945, about 10 1/2 months before I was born. He was 24 years old and had a wife and child. I was named John in his memory.
I brought an ‘America’ mug as a gift for Nathalie and Belgian/American Friendship Pins for the rest of their family not present.
The Cemetery Commission has rubbed Omaha Beach sand in the white letters of my uncle’s grave stone to highlight the letters today and placed flags there in preparation for my visit.
Placing the flower. Mathilde Schmetz from Remembrance Museum is with us as it is she who arranged the grave adoption for us.
Nancy, Jacques, John, Nathalie, Mathilde, Janine (l. to r.) Great new friends in Belgium. We would have brought them back if we could.
Thank you Nathalie! This is a great inspiration for us.
Nathalie (adopting my uncle’s grave site at Henri Chapelle), Janine, and Jacques gave us a box of Belgian chocolates. It will not last long.
Jacques gave us a gift-wrapped ‘little chalk drawing’ he did. He didn’t want us to open it until we got home but I wanted to check that it would travel ok. This is SUPERB!!! Open this up BIG to get a good look at it. Unbelievable.
The day finishes at Aachen Cathedral, started around 800 A.D. and containing the remains of the great king Charlemagne, d. 814.
Charlemagne’s remains, 1199 years after his death.