Oosterbeek, The Netherlands – The Taxi Charity Pin with an image of Hartenstein was received with great enthusiasm at the Airborne museum. The pin is now on sale at the Airborne museum and a portion of the proceeds go to the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans.
In collaboration with Jesse Pennekamp, trainee CHE (journalism)
The Taxi Charity is the organisation that takes the British WW2 veterans of the United Kingdom to all memorial sites. Not just to our municipality during the Airborne Month or to Wageningen for the defile and Liberation Day. Also to other places in the Netherlands where they fought, Belgium and/or France.
Mayor Agnes Schaap of the municipality of Renkum was the first to receive the pin. She’s impressed: ”How beautiful it is, I will wear it with honor.” An engraving of the pin on wood was also much appreciated. She gets an extra pin for children’s mayor Thom, Jacoline thinks it is important that the youth stays involved in the commemorations.
This initiative is thanks to two special people. The idea comes from the always enthusiastic Jacoline Rutgers of the Oosterbeek digital gift-shop, beetjebinnenbuiten.nl (bit inside outside). Comic artist Hennie Vaessen, famous for his comic books about the Second World war, designed the pin.
And it doesn’t stop there, Hennie has come up with two more unique pin designs. The second is entirely dedicated to the 80th anniversary of Market Garden in 2024 and the third, from 80 years of liberation in the Netherlands, will be released in 2025.
Poppies en Pins
Last year, Jacoline already came up with a special poppy pendant for the commemorations, the profit of which went to the Taxi Charity. The sale of those poppies was a great success, more than 440 copies were sold.
Jacoline was inspired by a campaign by the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans itself. “During their Market Garden Challenge, money was collected over two days by cycling and walking for veterans. Then the question arose: how can I contribute?”
She sells ceramic poppies herself, handmade by people with disabilities in Lithuania. ”The connection between British veterans and the ‘poppy pendant’ was therefore quickly made.” After contact with Frans Ammerlaan, she puts the ‘poppy pendant’ on the market in Oosterbeek. That turned out to be a great success: ”What started very carefully with a 100 poppy pendants ended in over 440 poppy pendants sold.”
During the Airborne March in 2022, she stood next to Hennie Vaessen with her booth, she knew about his talents as a cartoonist. When Jacoline by the start of this year was thinking about supporting the Taxi Charity in 2023 again, his name immediately pops up. A collaboration is quickly arranged and that is how they arrive at these three unique pins for the upcoming commemorations.
Jacoline: ”I think it’s important that we continue to remember and support our veterans who fought for our freedom.”
Taxi Charity for Military Veterans
For the Taxi Charity it is a nice contribution. They are completely dependent on donations to pay for veterans’ international travels to the Netherlands, France and Belgium. Director Ronnie Weijers of the Airborne museum is therefore very happy with the new pin. ”It’s a great initiative. We think it’s important to draw attention to this.”
Every veteran who comes to the commemorations on May 5th will receive a pin. Veterans who come to the Airborne commemorations in September can also count on a copy. Roger Beets and Frans Ammerlaan are both also present to receive the beautiful pin for the Taxi Charity. They will ensure that the pins end up with our heroes.
The pin is now on sale to the public via the website beetjebinnenbuiten.nl, at the Airborne museum and bookstore Meijers en Siegers on Utrechtseweg in Oosterbeek in May. It will be more widely available in September and you will be able to find Jacoline or Hennie with a stand at various events around the Airborne Commemorations. The poppy pendant is also still available and the proceeds from it still go to our heroes.
Both the Taxi Charity Pin (edition 2023) and the ceramic poppy pendant cost €5,- each.