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candles at the graves at airborne cemetery in oosterbeek


monty2
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Many military cemeterys in our country had candles this year, ranging from the big cemeterys to single war graves.

 

They are not forgotten.

 

Indeed. This Christmas eve some friends and me visited the Commonwealth War Graves plot at the Westduin cemetery in The Hague (The Netherlands) and placed a candle on each grave. We did not forget these men gave their lives for our freedom and this seemed a small but fitting manner to show our gratitude on this special night. Many other people did the same at Allied war graves all over The Netherlands.

 

Unfortunately it was quite windy and despite being placed into plastic cups the candles were blown out all the time, but we did manage to make these photo's when the wind subsided for a few minutes. We also placed candles on the graves of 47 executed Dutch resistance fighters that are buried nearby at the same cemetery. The Commonwealth plot contains 87 graves, mostly airmen but also some Navy and Army personnel. 17 of the 87 men buried here are unidentified, but they are not forgotten.

 

Information on the cemetery and the casualty list: http://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/2061150/THE%20HAGUE%20(WESTDUIN)%20GENERAL%20CEMETERY

 

 

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Sorry photo's aren't the best quality but the best we could do under the circumstances.

 

Merry Christmas! :-D

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Indeed. This Christmas eve some friends and me visited the Commonwealth War Graves plot at the Westduin cemetery in The Hague (The Netherlands) and placed a candle on each grave. We did not forget these men gave their lives for our freedom and this seemed a small but fitting manner to show our gratitude on this special night. Many other people did the same at Allied war graves all over The Netherlands.

 

Unfortunately it was quite windy and despite being placed into plastic cups the candles were blown out all the time, but we did manage to make these photo's when the wind subsided for a few minutes. We also placed candles on the graves of 47 executed Dutch resistance fighters that are buried nearby at the same cemetery. The Commonwealth plot contains 87 graves, mostly airmen but also some Navy and Army personnel. 17 of the 87 men buried here are unidentified, but they are not forgotten.

Merry Christmas! :-D

The wind does not matter its the thought that counts and as others many thanks

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I have been to Arnhem many times now for the commemorations. It amazes me the honour and respect given to all the fallen.

I've been to a few ceremonies at the Cemetery, especially the 're burials, and the headstone marking. The turnout by the Dutch people, especially the children is amazing.

If you have never been, and thinking about it, just go, any time of year but f you can, the second week in September.

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What a great tradition , The Photo's you say you thought were not very good are really indeed very good . I knew of the tradition of individual Dutch families adopting a grave of a fallen military person , but did not know of this Winter candle lighting. So many fell during the War both Military and civilian , is there any similar ceremony for the Dutch civilians ? I wish other Americans knew how these WWII dead continue to be honored, I know I have told many over the years since I learned of the tending of the graves. Thank YOU .

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I only know of the Arnhem graves. In the main cemetery there is also a Polish section. As far as I know there is only one civilian in that cemetery too. Can't remember the story, but I did read it a while ago.

There is also a small cemetery just over the road somewhere, I've never been, it's reported that German sympathizers are buried there. It is surrounded by high hedges on FOUR sides and the graves are unkempt. I've never seen this place, just stories I've heard whilst over there!

Planning September 2017 trip already. Me, tent, jeep and kit!;)

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Other than the American victims' remains who were either buried on one of the dedecated US cemeteries on European soil or brought home, Commonwealth war graves can also be found on local cemeteries in addition to their own dedicated cemeteries (like in Oosterbeek). They all have the standard headstone and are often grouped together in their own plot, and sometimes there is just a single Commonwealth grave.

 

The cemetery that my friends and I visited and of which I posted the pics here is located in The Hague and is a normal operational cemetery. The Commonwealth plot is sectioned off by a low hedgerow and fence, this is where the photo's were made. We also put candles on the graves of 47 Dutch resistance fighters who were executed in 1943.

 

Lots of people place candles on war graves and not just on the large dedicated cemeteries, it happens all over the country but became a bigger 'tradition' only the last few years.

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