Place of War

Trip Start Sep 22, 2007
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Trip End Oct 06, 2007


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Flag of Netherlands  ,
Monday, October 1, 2007

Arnhem.  I am aware that Canadians had helped drive the Nazis from Netherlands.  I want to see the Canadian war museum in Groesbeek, but I can't find where it was, so we go straight to Oosterbeek to see the Airborne museum and Commonwealth Cemetery as well as the "Bridge Too Far" in Arnhem.  This area is the home of the ill-fated Operation Market Garden.  The Allies tried to take the bridge and shorten the war, but instead failed and the occupation of the area lasted for about another year. 

The Museum is informative, but the cemetery is poignant, stirring - I can't really find the right words to express it.  The others go quickly back to the car, but I am deeply touched and spend quite a bit if time wandering among the headstones, reading the inscriptions.  I think of all the kids who served, kids the ages of my kids, leaving friends and futures to die in a foreign land.  I can't help think of Emily, Gary and Roel who are on the trip with us - Gary would have served-- leaving Emily and Roel home to survive without him, and hopefully he would have come back.  Even now, long after the trip as I type this, the feeling wells back up inside me.  We need to do more to respect their sacrifice.

I have long admired a Canadian soldier name Leo Major (go ahead, look the guy up - I don't think you will ever find a more spectacular war hero anywhere in the world in any era of world history) and want to visit Zwolle, a city from which he drove the Nazis, but we are running out of time so we just drive around it on the by-pass.  I really need to get back here again.  Something is pulling  my heard back to Netherlands already, and we are only half-way through our trip.
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