Memorial Day – The Netherlands

Tonight at 8 pm Dutch standard time the entire country will pause for two minutes of silence. This tradition each year is to honor, remember and respect all war dead. That it includes, not only military, but civilian casualties from those conflicts.

On March 10th this year, the Hubby and I visited the largest American Cemetery in The Netherlands from World War II, Margraten.

One of the thousands of graves of American military who died liberating The Netherlands in 1945.

Not our first visit, but I needed time to reflect on what was happening on the World stage. I needed counsel from the silence to make sense to what was happening in the Ukraine.

War is never cheap! It costs lives, some so young, they never got to live the life I have lived. Marriage, children, jobs that would give them joy. They never experienced Europe free from Nazi rule. Yet, each and everyone one of those souls helped to change the course of history. Leaders of the time after these soldiers had fought and died, said NEVER AGAIN!

Yet, here I was in 2022 trying to understand why? How?

Silence of those American’s who died for the freedom of Europe.

As we walked through the silence of the peacefully resting souls who now are forever part of the Dutch landscape, I cried. To know that so many were lost, that so many helped to make Europe what it is today without ever seeing the war at the ending…sad…yet sadder to see a repeat of something so similar in the Ukraine.

Some of the gravesites have been adopted by local Dutch families who continue to place flowers on the grave. This one just happened to be from my home state of Minnesota.

So, wherever you are in the World as you read this blog today, please stop and send your thoughts towards peace. War is never the answer but we must remember the ultimate cost for everyone.

© The Cedar Journal, 2022, all rights reserved.