Roermond Remembrance Ceremony
Brunssum, Netherlands - Every April, a remembrance ceremony is held in the ‘Old Cemetery’ at Roermond to commemorate British, Canadian and Dutch personnel who lost their lives fighting for their countries during World War II. A number of distinguished guests and local dignitaries are invited to attend this event and pay their respects to the fallen.
This year, the senior military officer was Rear Admiral Simon Hardern who delivered a moving reading and laid a wreath to commemorate fallen members of the Royal Air Force who were laid to rest in Roermond after being shot down during the War. Representatives from both the Dutch and Canadian Delegations at JFC Brunssum were present. Colonel Wouter Sleurink laid a wreath to commemorate several brave Dutch resistance fighters and Lieutenant Colonel Alain Chabot laid a wreath to commemorate fallen members of the Royal Canadian Air Force.
Local dignitaries included the Deputy Mayor of Roermond as well as the Dean of Roermond. What stood out for many was the fact that remembrance ceremonies in the Netherlands are very much a family affair. To ensure that fallen veterans are remembered both now and in the future, it was touching to see so many children involved. In particular, it was wonderful to hear the children of the local Synergie School recite their own poetry in commemoration of the fallen heroes and to see the younger generation represented by Lucas Lejeune in his role as the Cultural Youth Mayor for Roermond.
The event was organized jointly between the local ‘Brother in Arms’ organization (Wapenbroeders Afdeling) led by Retired Dutch Lieutenant Colonel Math Weijers and the UK Ceremonial Committee led by Wing Commander James Lafferty. Other volunteers included local members of the Royal British Legion, the Royal Air Force Association and the Dutch Veterans who always give their time to support this important event.
Rear Admiral Hardern concluded the day by saying a few words of thanks to all involved and asked everyone to spare a thought for our current heroes. In particular, the many servicemen and women from all of our NATO nations who are currently engaged in active duties all over the world.
Story by JFC Brunssum Public Affairs Office