60th Anniversary SAR Battlefield Tour - 2005

Wednesday, May 4

Children place flowers Today it was early arising in order to get to the Holten War Cemetery. This turned out to be a totally frustrating and tiring day for the Veterans, and their families. When the bus got there, the tickets that were supposed to be there were no where around. The bus waited until almost every other bus was in. The seats the veterans received were barely in sight of the events with large bits of shrubbery blocking most of the view. VIPs received the closest chairs although it seems to me that the Veterans were the real VIPs.

One of the very nice parts of the ceremony was where the children placed a flower in front of each soldier's resting place in the cemetery. The children come here on Christmas Eve in order to place candle lanterns on each grave and up to 2000 adults sing Christmas carols and hymns. These people remember the young lads who gave their lives, and in fact they revered them by holding their own ceremony with dignity and gratitude.
Veterans and wreath
After crowds had dispersed, the SAR Veterans had their own wreath laying ceremony at the Holten Cemetery.

When it was over, everyone left but this group who were waiting to get called to the bus. The inconvenience was partially made up for when the group went to a small restaurant for some treats, and then returned to the hotel for supper.

Thursday, May 5

Dutch CemeteryToday the group toured Appledorn parade route, took pictures of the double headed statue, and then proceeded to Waageningem for the Princes' Parade. During the visit there was a break for lunch and an opportunity to visit all the memorabilia for the signing of the unconditional surrender.

After the parade the tour headed for Amsterdam and made a brief stop at a Dutch cemetery which was possibly the prettiest cemetery we had seen.