General Salvatore Farina, Commander JFC Brunssum, accompanied by his wife Amelia Gianna led a strong contingent from the headquarters including Lieutenant General Fernando Alejandre, Deputy Commander JFC Brunssum, at the annual 04 May Dutch National Memorial Service led by the town of Brunssum.
The Mayor of Brunssum, Mr Luc Winants, together with the Mayor of Alsdorf (Brunssum’s twin city in Germany), Mr Alfred Sonders, jointly laid wreaths at the general Brunssum Cemetery. Thereafter, General Farina laid a wreath on behalf of JFC Brunssum together with Mr Henk Aldenwereld, representing the Israeli people. This was followed by Major General Hans van Griensven on behalf of the Dutch forces at JFC Brunssum and Major General Walter Ohm, representing the German forces at JFC Brunssum. A significant number of additional wreaths were laid. In a true symbol of friendship and lasting peace each pair shook hands after paying their respects.
At the adjacent British War Cemetery, amongst others, wreaths were laid by the Mayor of Brunssum, Mr Winants, Colonel Gerry McBride on behalf of the British Forces and Community at JFC Brunssum, and General Farina on behalf of JFC Brunssum. Scouts and local school children laid flowers and released white balloons to remember and symbolise the souls of the British soldiers laid to rest in the town of Brunssum.
It was apparent that the number of local people attending the ceremony, many of whom are children, increases each year.