The first day of September, was a day to remember!
A beautiful day. With what I call a ‘typical Dutch sky’: clear blue backround with snowy white clouds, looking like crisp cotton balls. It was not too hot, not too cold and no rain today. Perfect day for a walk! Perfect day for the start of this new
I currently live in an area where there was heavy fighting in WWII. Signs of this can still be found everywhere in the landscape and in public space. I was alone on my first walk and I walked in Groesbeek. Groesbeek is a little place near my homestead. It is an absolute gorgeous green area to walk in. I am not finished walking in that area by a long shot, but today’s goal was a very special cemetery I had heard of and I would love to share with you. Not just the cemetery, but also the history.
At the highest point in the Netherlands, at the 7 heuvelenweg, you will find the Canadian War Cemetery where 2598 ‘casualties’, were buried. Yes, of course, one can walk around there and admire the neatness, the care with which the cemetery is kept, the beauty of the landscape. But those ‘casualties’ are young, brave humans. 2598 Young lives, just try to imagine, poefff, gone…Imagine all the pain, all the hurt of those who were left behind. They all were somebody’s son, daughter, friend, brother, sister. Going to a country they had probably never been to before, to fight. To fight for liberation, for freedom. For OUR liberation, for OUR freedom. Would YOU do that?
The history – traces of war
The cemetery in Groesbeek dates from 1945, when the 2nd and 3th Canadian Infantry Divisions and the 4th Canadian Amoured Divisions took part in operation Veritable. There was a need for a cemetery close to German territory to bury the Canadian victims who fell during the battles. The work started in the summer of 1945 and was conducted under the direction of 6 Canadian soldiers.
The cemetery was opened on May 4 1947 by our then queen Wilhelmina. The location of this cemetery is chosen by mayor Jonkheer van Grotenhuis van Onstein.
The cemetery and the memorial are designed by P.D. Hepworth and the place is maintained by the Commonwealth Wargraves Commission.
Are you just as impressed as I was?