The Netherlands America Institute
What is the NAIL?
Following World War
Two (WWII), the Netherlands-America Institute (NAI) was established at
Amsterdam in 1946. The NAI placed great
emphasis on exchange/scholarship programmes between the Netherlands and
America. However, the Limburg Chapter of
the NAI determined they wished to place more focus on the long-term sustainment
of robust friendships between the US and Limburg. This was driven by the fact
that the US played a huge role in the Allied liberation of South Limburg in
WWII and Margraten Cemetery (today the resting place of 8301 American soldiers)
together with its Adoption Programme whereby local families look after the
graves, had been set up in 1946. This
undercurrent of opinion gave rise to a more independent branch of the NAI, the
Netherlands America Institute Limburg (NAIL), in 1952. Similar groups established after the Second
World War elsewhere in the Netherlands have ceased to function, but the NAIL
Why? Because of two key reasons:
First, the special
bond formed between the people of Limburg and the USA in the wake of the
liberation of this region in 1944-45 inter
alia by American troops. There are
still NAIL members today who, as children, personally witnessed the arrival of
US troops in their towns, housed US soldiers in their homes, and care for the
graves of the thousands of US soldiers interred in the war cemetery at Margraten. More graves of US soldiers have been
"adopted” by ordinary citizens at Margraten than at any other US war cemetery. The fact that so many local people continue to
visit Margraten, including Dutch schoolchildren, underscores the region’s
continuing commitment to US-Dutch relations.
Second, the NATO and
US military presence here in the region has established strong ties with US
senior commanders, military personnel and civilians. Thanks to their continuous support and
commitment the NAIL remains strong.
The NAIL is a non-political organization and most members are, or have
been, part of military and/or civilian national and/or international entities. Today, the NAIL has circa 300 members
comprising American, Belgian, British, Dutch, German, Irish, Italian and
Spanish nationals. We have established
strong ties with the US Embassy and its Consul General in The Hague, the US
communities of US Army Garrison Schinnen, Joint Force Command Brunssum, NATO
Air Base Geilenkirchen, AFNORTH International School, the Limburg Veterans Day
Foundation, the SHAK 1944 Foundation, the Overseas Americans
Remember Foundationand the Foundation of the Adoption of American Graves Margraten.
What are NAIL Objectives?
The key objectives
of the NAIL are:
maintain & strengthen social, cultural and economic ties;
promote friendship between citizens of the USA, the Netherlands and other
What do we do?
NAIL is a platform facilitating people to connect, to identify synergies and to
establish networks resulting in mutual understanding and appreciation. This platform generates a wide range of
activities. Major NAIL events are the
annual Memorial Eve gathering and participation in Memorial Day Services the
following Day, and the celebration of the birthday of the Netherlands King,
Willem-Alexander. Other activities include themed dinner & dance events,
beer calls, meetings, excursions/visits to local breweries, international
organizations such as EUROCONTROL and European Institutions such as the EU
Parliament & Commission, factories, historic sites, museums, castles and
selected regional restaurants. The NAIL
also sponsors special guest lectures on topics of interest. If you have a particular field of expertise or
interest, we would welcome having you speak at a NAIL-organized event!
In keeping with an
objective to broaden the appeal and reach of the NAIL over recent years we have
sponsored a number of local and regional projects. Amongst others, these have included the
American Spouses Club Auction, the Open Air Theatre at Valkenburg, the Terry
Fox Run and the Schutterij St.
But, we should not
forget that we aim to promote & preserve the cultural, economic and social
contacts between the Netherlands and the USA. Furthermore, the provision of information
& assistance to Americans residing in Limburg and elsewhere in the
Netherlands is an essential objective for us.
How is the NAIL organized?
The NAIL has a
Board comprising of 7 voting members and 4 advisors. It is fully accountable for its actions to
its members. To ensure transparency and
accountability a General Membership Meeting is held annually.
How Do I Join?
Are you interested
to join, but would appreciate
additional clarification and/or information? Please contact one of the following to
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/naillimburg/
NAIL Website – http://naillimburg.wixsite.com/naillimburg
The Terry Fox Run is an annual non-competitive
charity event held in numerous regions around the world in commemoration of
Canadian canceractivist Terry Fox, and his Marathon of Hope, that raises money for cancer research. The event was founded in 1981 by Isadore Sharp, who contacted Terry in hospital by telegram
and expressed his wishes to hold an annual run in Terry's name to raise funds
for cancer research. Sharp
himself had lost a son to cancer in 1979. Since its
inception, the run has
raised via the 'Terry Fox Foundation' over $700 million. The run itself is informal which means that the
distance often varies, usually between 5 and 15 kilometres; participation is
considered to be more important than completing the set distance. There are also runs set up by schools of every
level, often with shorter distances than the "official" ones.
to a voluntary city guard or
citizen militia in the medieval and early modern Netherlands. Originally its task was to protect the town or city
from attack and act in case of revolt or fire. Their training grounds were often on open
spaces within the city, near the city walls, but, when the weather did not
allow, inside a church. They are mostly
grouped according to their district and to the weapon that they used: bow, crossbow or gun. Together, its members are called a
Schuttersgilde, which could be roughly translated as a "shooter's guild". It is now a title applied to ceremonial
shooting clubs and to the country's Olympic rifle team.