Moving Remembrance Tribute at Haelen
HAELEN, Netherlands – The Chief of Staff Joint Force Command Brunssum, Lieutenant General Janusz ADAMCZAK, visited the Monument of Tolerance at Haelen, today, and paid tribute to those military personnel who lost their lives in the Leudal area during the period 1940-1945.
Also present were civil and military representatives from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom plus Jewish victims from the Holocaust; all reflecting on the losses suffered and the sacrifices made. Moving speeches from the Mayor of Leudal, Mr Arno VERHOEVEN and New Zealand’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, Her Excellency Mrs Janet LOWE, preceded the laying of wreaths and observance of a minute’s silence. The ceremony served as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by over 700 personnel, from 11 nations and that, in the true spirit of tolerance, the memorial commemorates the loss of Austrian and German lives during the same period.
The bronze monument consists of a half arch on an equilateral triangle which represents the Heavenly. The gulls represent freedom. The sword with the laurel-wreath and the clasped hands represent the battle fought and the fraternization beyond death. The foot of the monument is covered with boulders from the river Maas, one for each soldier killed in action. The eleven red beams in the pavement symbolize the eleven nations involved.
A Spitfire from the Department of Historic Flights of the Royal Dutch Air Force performed a fly-past during the ceremony.
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Story by JFC Brunssum Public Affairs Office