The four mayors of the Airborne Region in The Netherlands officially opened the Airborne season at the Airborne Museum in Oosterbeek on Wednesday afternoon.
The Airborne March is always seen as the start of the season, but corona ensures measures and rethinking. The much-desired cooperation between the four municipalities of the Airborne Region seems to benefit on this.
In the presence of a proud new director of the Airborne Museum, Ronnie Weijers and just a few invitees, mayors Agnes Schaap of Renkum, Patricia Hoytink-Roubos of the Overbetuwe, Ahmed Marcouch of Arnhem and René Verhulst of Ede hoisted the flag of their own municipality, after they had walked jointly under the recently installed Airborne Arch. The road was closed for a while for that short walk.
We will ALWAYS remember them
Mayor Agnes Schaap from the municipality of Renkum, which hosts the Airborne Museum, starts her speech with the congratulations from the four mayors to Ronnie Weijers as new director of the museum and due to corona, he got some nice flowers thrown to him.
“For 74 years the Airborne March is the start of the Remembrance month. But as you know, all big events are cancelled and even the Airborne landings on the Ginkel Heath are not happening. We searched within the corona measurements for an alternative and jointly way to open the Remembrance month.”
“The battle of Arnhem had a major impact in the municipalies of Arnhem, Ede, the Overbetuwe and Renkum. That’s why we open the Airborne season together for the first time. Our municipalities were joint together in 2016 with their partners as the Airborne Region.”
Tell the story together
“Together we can tell the whole story of Market Garden. This story starts at the Airbornelandings at Renkum and Ede, the fighting at Oosterbeek to the battle at the bridge in Arnhem, the help of the Polish army at Driel and ends with the retreat over the river Rhine and the surrender to the enemy. The military killed in action found their last resting place at the cemetary in Oosterbeek.”
“In this way we show how The Battle of Arnhem has left deep marks in our region between the 17th and the 25th of September 1944. But it seems the Battle of Arnhem is getting more and more important to our citizens. Market Garden has become part of our DNA.”
“Last year we displayed the importance of the Horsa Glider during Operation Market Garden. This year the attention goes to Operation Berlin, the retreat of the British and Polish military over the Rhine. As of September 7th, The White Ribbon Mile is marked again with white ribbons from the Old Church in Oosterbeek to the river.”
All over the Region different corona-proof doings are organised like walk or cycle routes along markings of the 2nd World War and expositions held outside. The citizens of the whole region are asked to hoist the Airborne flag in the remembrance month and to lay flowers wherever they want at some WW2 marking in the region in the remembrance week from the 17th till the 25th of September.
The flags are hoist by the minute and especially the municipality of Renkum is already displaying a lot of Airborne flags.