Arnhem veterans received a greeting from the Airborne Region mayors

Veterans at the Gliderbench at Wolfheze, 2017
Foto: Devi van Hellesem

Veterans of the Battle of Arnhem in September 1944 received a greeting in the form of a photo album from the mayors of the four Airborne municipalities in The Netherlands this week.

“You are in our hearts forever, we will always remember you. Hopefully until next year ”, the mayors of Arnhem, Ede, Overbetuwe and Renkum wrote in the booklet.

There are still a few dozen Airborne veterans who come to the commemorations every year, but that is impossible this year due to the measures against the corona virus.

Operation Market Garden

The Battle of Arnhem was part of the Allied Operation Market Garden in World War II. That operation came to a halt when the liberators failed to capture the Rhine bridge at Arnhem from the Germans. The battle began with massive airborne landings on the heath land between Arnhem and Ede on 17 and 18 September 1944.

Arnhem held a memorial service in the Eusebius Church on Friday evening. After the divine service, a limited party laid wreaths at the foot of the John Frost Bridge, which the Allies could not get hold of at the time. At the ceremony were the ambassadors of all allied countries and Germany present.

No drops

Saturday, Defense and the municipality of Ede on the Ginkel Heath will commemorate the airborne landings from 1944 in a small circle. Due to the corona crisis, there are no drops of parachutists. The memorial service on Sunday at the Airborne cemetery in Oosterbeek is also not open to the public for the first time since 1945.

Organisers of all major and minor events this weekend are warning that fences will be placed around gatherings everywhere. Roads are also temporarily closed here and there. This is to prevent groups of spectators from forming. Most ceremonies can be followed directly via the internet. The most important meetings are broadcast on TV via regional broadcasters.

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