Preparations for Airborne Commemorations 2021 in full swing

The only flowerchild in 2020
Foto: Devi M. van Hellesem

Oosterbeek, The Netherlands – The preperations for the Airborne commemorations are now in full swing. The various organisations behind the commemorations and events in September will soon come with further information.

Traditionally, the Airborne-arch in Oosterbeek is on the first Monday of July and the Airborne feeling in the region starts. This year, the construction of the arch has been postponed to the beginning of August.

Despite the restrictions, the tribute to the fallen soldiers in 2020 was very respectful and could be easily followed by the veterans, relatives and the public via television and streaming from local TV station Omroep Gelderland according to the Airborne Memorials Foundation. All Airborne commemorations for 2021 are now also under construction.

“In view of the uncertainties surrounding the measures, the starting point is the version like last year, with attendance only by invitation. But hopefully there will be more space this year.” said the SAH chairman, Roger Beets.

This year with an audience again?

Beets: “Each organisation individually considers what space and possibilities are offered for their event, given the relaxation. However, it remains dependent on the measures in force and their feasibility. The municipalities and organisations will soon indicate in good time via the (social) media and websites, what will be possible in the future. This can also be followed on airborne-herdenkingen.nl. An Airborne newspaper will also be published in the region in mid-August, with the most up-to-date information.”

Veterans and relatives

“Whether veterans and relatives will come depends on the travel measures in Great Britain, Poland, Canada and the other countries,” continues Beets. “At the moment (July 6) there are still quarantine obligations when travelling to the Netherlands from the UK.  Hopefully not anymore in September, but that remains to be seen.”

About the expected numbers of veterans, Beets answers: ”If everything is possible again and everything is free, there may be only a few veterans. In the past year we have lost many of them and some have indicated that they are no longer physically able to make the tiring trip. They are already looking forward to video streaming, to be able to be there from home that way. It is not yet possible to say anything about the number of relatives who will possibly make the crossing.”

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