– Thursday 14 November, Colonel Frank Warda (Chief Public Affairs Officer and Spokesperson) represented Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFCBS) at a ceremony conducted at the Monument of Tolerance remembering the more than 700 military personnel from 11 nations who fell during World War Two (WWII) in the Leudal area, in the Province of Limburg.
History is the teacher of life
Every year on the Thursday closest to 17 November (date of liberation of Leudal in WWII) military veterans, organisations, national and international civic leaders gather at this monument to pay their respects to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. As a sign of true tolerance Allied, as well as Austrian and German victims, are remembered together.
The Monument of Tolerance, which was unveiled on 8 March 2001, reminds us of the battle which took place in and around the Leudal area towards the end of WWII, during which military personnel from 11 nations (Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, New Zealand, Norway, the Netherlands, United States of America) lost their lives. In all, a highly reflective and profound service was conducted but, perhaps the most lingering words were spoken by Mayor Désirée Schmalschläger (Mayor Municipality of Leudal) who concluded her remarks as follows: 'I want to finish with the maxim engraved on the monument – History is the teacher of life.' With that teacher of life we here today build the future; a joint future full of tolerance.'