Brunssum, The Netherlands – In a touching ceremony the annual international service of remembrance took place today at the Monument of Tolerance in front of the Leudal Museum in Haelen, Limburg. The primary hosts were the Deputy Mayor of the municipality of Leudal (Mr. Walraven) and members of the Foundation of the Monument of Tolerance. Amongst a number of official attendees it was notable that many veterans and relatives were, once again, present.
Amongst others, wreaths were laid by representatives from the countries who participated in the ceremony. In addition, Air Commodore Andy Huggett laid a wreath on behalf of Joint Force Command Brunssum. Notably, one of the VIPs was Lieutenant General Hans van Griensven, Inspector General of the Dutch Armed Forces, and a former Deputy Chief of Staff for planning at JFC Brunssum.
Background: The monument of Tolerance was unveiled on the 8th March 2001 to commemorate allied service personnel who had fallen during the war years 1940-1945; specifically the 687 military from 11 different nations (Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and United States of America), who lost their lives in the Leudal area. The bronze monument, sculptured by Thea Houben from Roggel, consists of a half arch on an equilateral triangle which represents the Devine. There are sculptured gulls representing freedom. The sword with the laurel-wreath and the clasped hands stands for the battle that was fought and the brotherhood beyond death. This application is designed by John Wagemans. 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. The text on the monuments says: "History is the tutor of Life."
Story by JFC Brunssum Public Affairs Office