Remembrance during Four Days Marches around Nijmegen
During the 97th Four Days Marches around Nijmegen this year organised from 16-19 July there is next to the cheerful marches always a moment for remembrance and honour. Many military troops who are walking the route over the Zevenheuvelenweg take time and stop to commemorate on the third day at the Canadian War Cemetery in Groesbeek. Many of their (Canadian) comrades, who have given their lives for the liberation of the Netherlands, are buried at this cemetery. It is an important and impressive ceremony every year.
As it was this year. The weather was spectacular. For many a bit too warm, as it turned out later during the ceremony. A large contingent Canadian military troops, who like all other soldiers made camp on Camp Heumensoord, changed route and paid their respect and a honourable salute to the deceased comrades. At 12PM they marched to the monument on the Canadian War Cemetery, followed by the Colour Party of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 005. Many invitees watched and listened to a Priest commemorating the fallen. Later several wreaths were laid, also one of a delegation of RCL Branch 005. After the ceremony many soldiers visited the graves of family, friends and comrades and sometimes the emotions got the upper hand. Also military troops from other countries did visit the Canadian War Cemetery during the Four Days Marches and paid their respect. The memorial service attracted many people.
After the ceremony of the Canadian contingent the Colour Party of RCL Branch 005 was invited to support a commemoration by the participating detachments of the Royal Dutch Air Force. It was a short memorial service at the front of the Canadian War Cemetery, where a wreath was laid. These soldiers also went on in the Four Days Marches afterwards.
RCL Branch 005 was asked to visit the Canadian contingent at Camp Heumensoord after the commemoration. All were guided around the camp by the Sergeant Major on duty. It did end up in a gathering in the “British/Canadian Canteen”. The transportation of RCL Branch 005 the whole day was organised by the Canadian detachment. It was gratefully appreciated!
It is a pleasure to report that this time there was a large presence of RCL members and partners (19!). Of course the weather was very fine, but also new members came to get acquainted and the atmosphere was very open and casual.
Also see: photo album