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  1. #1
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    Default 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers for always remembered in the Netherlands

    Today a brand new bridge will be opened in the city of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
    Two veterans will open the bridge while sitting in historical Jeeps.

    Officials with the 82nd Airborne Division said a small number of troops from the 1st Brigade Combat Team, which includes the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment,
    will make the trip from Fort Bragg for the ceremony.

    Veterans of Operation Market Garden and the families of those who died during the crossing are also expected to be in Nijmegen for celebrations this weekend.
    Events include a Friday reception and the official bridge opening ceremony Saturday.


    Quote Originally Posted by charlotteobserver.com:
    Caine Jeter Clemons of Roanoke, Va., was 21 when he and 47 other 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers were killed while crossing the Waal River in flimsy canvas boats under heavy fire on Sept. 20, 1944.
    The action became known in the Netherlands as “De Oversteek” – The Crossing.

    Surviving soldiers captured the bridge and liberated the city of Nijmegen.
    Next week, a new bridge named “De Oversteek” will be dedicated on the site where the young paratroopers died.

    Their names will be on 48 pairs of lampposts which will light up, from south to north, every evening at dusk.
    Quote Originally Posted by smallwarsjournal.com:
    The Bridge:

    Naming the bridge De Oversteek is not the only way the city is commemorating the heroic actions of the American soldiers.
    The 48 men who were killed in the operation will be remembered with a work of lighting art on the bridge.

    The artwork consists of 48 pairs of lampposts, which will light up two by two, from south to north, every evening at dusk.
    In this way, the crossing will be symbolically re-enacted every evening.
    Click here to read the article

    Quote Originally Posted by warhistoryonline.com:
    Every evening at dusk the artwork will switch on the lanterns pair by pair from South to North to commemorate the crossing.
    Only when all the lights on the bridge lit, the rest of the public lighting in the city will be lit too.
    From what I understand, the names of the fallen soldiers are displayed on plaquettes on the 48 lampposts.

    Sent from my computer, using a keyboard.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers for always remembered in the Netherlands

    Thanks Erik. That's a great tribute to those fallen Soldiers.
    Korrie

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers for always remembered in the Netherlands

    Awesome!
    Thanks for sharing that!
    Jerry Wilson
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    Default Re: 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers for always remembered in the Netherlands

    Thank you for sharing that
    Bob-St Louis MO.

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    Default Re: 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers for always remembered in the Netherlands

    I have been to one of the HUGE D-Day cemeteries in the Netherlands and it will really humble you to look THAT far in any direction and see so many marble crosses. Places like Arlington or Gettysburg don't give the same sensations due to all the hills (Arlington) or smaller size (Gettysburg).
    Ken Warner
    1970 GS-455

  6. Default Re: 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers for always remembered in the Netherlands

    Thanks Erik. It's nice to be recognized by another Country. As an ex-combat soldier, a lot of people have no idea of what we went through.

    PONCH

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    Default Re: 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers for always remembered in the Netherlands

    Erik --I live close to the 82nd Airborne base. So do others on the Board. Bruno, who is otherwise famous for his fast Buick, etc., I believe, was an 82nd Airborne paratrooper.
    Jim Lore
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers for always remembered in the Netherlands

    Market Garden was essentially a British operation first proposed by Field Marshall Montgomery. Other allied commanders were cool to the idea, but the Americans had gotten their way much more often then the British, so the allies went along with it. German forces were much stronger then the allies anticipated, and the Germans also had armored battalions available which was a shock to the allies. Market Garden was one of very few allied operations that were a failure in WW 2. Some like to consider Dunkirk to be a moral success, but the Brits got their a-s kicked. The Americans didn't do too well at the first Kasserine pass battle, but when George Patton took over command things changed big time. The Brits lost everything that they had gained in North Africa when Winston stripped their forces for an ill-advised foray into Greece. Other then Market garden, that's about all of our major defeats. I suppose that you could add Pearl Harbor, but actually in the long run, it helped the US more then it did the Japanese. I am well aware that the Europeans have a fondness for the allied troops (with the possible exception of Germany). Ironically, Germany made out better by losing then they would have by winning.
    Last edited by John Codman; 11-24-2013 at 10:51 PM. Reason: spelling
    John Codman
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers for always remembered in the Netherlands

    Very Nice
    Thanks for sharing that
    "Bulldog" James A. Miller

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    Default Re: 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers for always remembered in the Netherlands

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Warner View Post
    I have been to one of the HUGE D-Day cemeteries in the Netherlands and it will really humble you to look THAT far in any direction and see so many marble crosses. Places like Arlington or Gettysburg don't give the same sensations due to all the hills (Arlington) or smaller size (Gettysburg).
    That must have been the cemetery near the Dutch village of Margraten with the graves of 8,302 US soldiers.
    I visited this cemetery when I was 10 years old, I was very impressed.

    Here is a video about the Margraten cemetery I found on the internet:




    From an older post:

    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Boattail View Post
    Yesterday we had a Memorial Day ceremony at the American military cementary in Margraten, a little town in the South of the Netherlands.

    Six F16 jets of the Dutch Air Force did a fly-by, with one of the planes breaking out to do a "missing-man salute"

    Here's a video from Dutch national news:



    "Missing man salute"

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers for always remembered in the Netherlands

    I visited Normandy for the 60th anniversary back in 2004. Was incredibly memorable -- specially meeting veterans from that time. Got to meet many veterans and (then) current 82nd (All American) and 101st (screaming eagle) paratroopers. I was at Omaha listening to President Bush and the President Chirac speak at the anniversary event. It was an unseasonably hot day. Some in the crowd were complaining about the heat. And then it occured to me -- if you're at Omaha beach and the only thing you've got to complain about is the heat - be thankful -- and honor those who faced much worse.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers for always remembered in the Netherlands

    Last year I visited the cemetery of Margraten, I was very impressed!
    Bart,

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    Default Re: 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers for always remembered in the Netherlands

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Fr...h_Army_officer) Regarding Operation "Market Garden" have a look at the link. No words l have can describe how well the Paras did, against overwhelming odds.John Frost, and people like him have my utmost respect
    Toyota- its Japanese for 'boring car'

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    Default Re: 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers for always remembered in the Netherlands

    Quote Originally Posted by John Codman View Post
    I am well aware that the Europeans have a fondness for the allied troops (with the possible exception of Germany).
    John, also in Germany you will find huge and very well maintained cemeteries for allied soldiers.
    Last Wednesday I passed this cemetery close to the city of Kleve in Germany, I was surprised to find out (later on the internet) that this was an Allied forces cemetery.

    There is only one Canadian soldier buried at this site, Canadian soldiers who died in the area are buried at the Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery, the Netherlands.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia:

    Reichswald Forest War Cemetery was created after the Second World War when burials were brought in from all over western Germany and is the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the country.

    Some of those members of the land forces buried there died in the advance through Reichswald Forest in February 1945. Others died crossing the Rhine, among them members of the airborne forces whose bodies were brought from Hamminkeln, where landings were made by the 6th Airborne Division from bases in England.

    Some of the airmen buried in the cemetery lost their lives in supporting the advance into Germany, but most died earlier in the war in the intensive air attacks over Germany. Their graves were brought in from cemeteries and isolated sites in the surrounding area.

    There are now 7,594 Commonwealth servicemen of the Second World War buried or commemorated in the cemetery. 176 of the burials are unidentified. There are also 78 war graves of other nationalities, most of them Polish.

    Special Memorials to 9 airmen are located at the East boundary wall, near Plot 10. Further Special Memorials to 7 airmen are located within Plot 31, near the Cross of Sacrifice.

    Identified Casualties: 7418
    Quote Originally Posted by mta.ca:
    Reichswald Forest War Cemetery

    The large Reichswald Forest (Forst Reichswald) lies in North Rhine Westphalia, between Cleves (Kleve) and Nijmegen in nearby Netherlands. After the end of the war in Europe in May 1945, thousands of soldiers' and airmen's remains were brought in from burial places in western Germany. Many of the soldiers died in the hard-fought battles of the Rhineland, others in fighting in the Reichswald itself, and yet others during the crossing of the Rhine in March 1945. Among the soldiers' graves is that of Major General Thomas Rennie, killed by a mortar bomb which exploded on his jeep. There are 4,000 airmen in the cemetery, most of whom died in the years of the bombing offensive and some in supporting the advance of the soldiers. They, like the soldiers, were concentrated after the war.

    This, as mentioned elsewhere, is the largest Commonwealth war cemetery of the 1939-1945 War if only actual buried bodies, and not cremations, are included. (If they are included, then El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt, with 7,950, is larger). The cemetery contains 6,400 British burials, 700 Canadians (all airmen, except for one soldier -- Canadian soldiers who died in the area were interred in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery, Netherlands) over 300 Australian, 130 New Zealand and 70 Polish -- a total of over 7,600.
    Reichswald Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery:

    Sent from my computer, using a keyboard.
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers for always remembered in the Netherlands

    The 2 veterans yesterday:

    http://www.telegraaf.nl/jsp/foto_win...uwe%20Waalbrug

    In 2014 (70 years later) Market Garden will be remembered with a huge celebration. Preparations already started last year. In the last 25 years every year the group of veterans attending became smaller. Last year my unit made (twin) parachute jumps with a couple of the veterans during the celebration, but due to their age, it probably was the last time.
    Rob

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    Default Re: 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers for always remembered in the Netherlands

    Here's another photo, veteran Francis X. Keefe from the USA in a historical Jeep:



    Quote Originally Posted by Francis X Keefe:
    Crossing the Waal River
    As I Remember It

    By Francis X. Keefe
    82nd Airborne 504 PIR Co I


    I vividly remember the hazy, warm, sunny September day in 1944 when we crossed the Waal River to capture the Nijmegen bridge.
    We were a few hundred yards approaching the dike road on the south side of the river.
    In the distance, we could see General Gavin with two or three other soldiers speaking to the line of troopers in front of us.
    As he was making his way back, he must have been saying the same thing to us as he passed by.
    "Not to worry. We have plenty of artillery and tank fire power to support us."

    When we got to the embankment, we just sat behind the road which high enough to give us natural cover.
    The other side of the road went down to the river's edge.
    There was very little conversation; everyone just looked at one another.
    It was the same as when we were told about the river crossing in the wooded area the day before.

    I was confident about myself, as I had been through attacks before but I was concerned about the others.
    It was quiet throughout the company as we waited for the boats to arrive.
    Everyone wondered what they would look like.
    I knew we would have "C" Company engineers with us.
    They were like part of the regiment.
    I had a buddy in the company who I tented with in Oujda in North Africa. (always brushing his teeth).
    Click here to read the full article
    Sent from my computer, using a keyboard.
       ʞ ɐ ɥʇıʍ pǝllǝds s,ʇɐɥʇ ʍoN -----> ʞıɹƎ

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  17. #17
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    Default Re: 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers for always remembered in the Netherlands

    Erik, thank you for posting this very moving tribute. It's great to see how The Netherlands places such importance on these remembrances.

    The name Thomas Rennie is somewhat familiar to me, as I once rode a ferry bearing that name to the Toronto Island Park. At the time, I had no idea who he was. Now I do.


    Tom B
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers for always remembered in the Netherlands

    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Boattail View Post
    John, also in Germany you will find huge and very well maintained cemeteries for allied soldiers.
    Last Wednesday I passed this cemetery close to the city of Kleve in Germany, I was surprised to find out (later on the internet) that this was an Allied forces cemetery.

    There is only one Canadian soldier buried at this site, Canadian soldiers who died in the area are buried at the Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery, the Netherlands.





    Reichswald Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery:

    Many people are surprised to learn that there is a cemetery for German soldiers located not far from the American cemetery in Normandy.
    To shorten a long story, I asked our personal tour guide (in Normandy) how the French felt about German soldiers. Her response was that the French realized that the German soldiers were just following orders and really didn't want to be there. She then added that if a known member of the German SS walked down the street in France, you could shoot him dead directly in front of a police station without fear of arrest.
    John Codman
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers for always remembered in the Netherlands

    This is really is really interesting history. I was in Germany my last two years in the army in 1980 and 81. There was a lot to take in, but when your 19 or 20 when you get time off beer and girls takes up most of your time. Wish I would of seen more of this type of stuff
    Bob-St Louis MO.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers for always remembered in the Netherlands

    Thanks for sharing this. WW2 vets are dying off at an incredible pace. The youngest are now in their late 80's. Pay tribute while we can. They were so much tougher than the texting/facebook generation we have now. If things ever go really bad I hope I am wrong.
    Dave, Seeing Yellow
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