Monday, May 4, 2015
Fred once again was our “taxi” and transported us to the meeting place for the Remembrance Ceremony, which started at 7 o’clock in the evening.
I have separated the videos into two parts as I thought perhaps segments would be easier to find the time to watch. I encourage you to watch it all. It was an incredible experience that is beyond description. The only parts that I have edited out are the very beginning speech as it was almost 9 minutes long and most of the speech outside as they were all spoken in Dutch. But the solemnity of the occasion was not lost by doing so. I hope my Dutch friends will understand my reasons for doing this. If you listen carefully you will realize that the speaker is talking about Bill and welcoming him to the ceremony.
Following the opening ceremony inside we adjourned outside. As we were leaving the building to go to the Ouddorp Village Memorial for the wreath laying ceremony, we passed an elderly man in the audience who was still sitting and quietly sobbing – Bill approached him and the man took his hand. This gentleman, Linus Hoek, his father and Fred’s father were brothers, is a survivor of the Holocaust. I also took his hand and held it – it was such an honor.
During the outdoor ceremony, at precisely 8 p.m., 2 minutes of silence are observed in honor of the fallen. If you turn up the sound enough you will hear the bells tolling 8 o’clock – note the time on the village clock. Even the children are required to observe the 2 minutes of silence. Fred informed us that 90% of the people of Holland stop what they are doing and observe those 2 minutes in silence. Not even the children made a sound and all stood still in observance. It was remarkable to be a part of it. This part of the ceremony is on Part I – it occurs after the trumpeter plays.
Following this the wreaths were placed. This was highly emotional and we were barely able to hold ourselves together during the ceremony, especially when it was our turn to place our wreath. It was extremely humbling to see how the peoples of the Netherlands honor those who were lost in the fight for their freedom. This is the way this ceremony is held every year. I don’t think as long as I live I will ever experience anything that could remotely compare to this.
My thanks to Esther, Suze’s daughter, Fred’s niece, for taking over the videoing for me. I thought I would be doing that – not participating in the ceremony. She did a great job – probably far better than I could have done. Thank you so very much Esther.
MAJOR TISSUE ALERTS
REMEMBRANCE CEREMONY PART I Video is 13 minutes. Opening indoor ceremony then adjourning outside for outdoor ceremony including 2 minutes of silence and closing song. Notice the Honor Guard – they hold their salute throughout the 2 minutes of silence.
REMEMBRANCE CEREMONY PART II Video is 14 minutes. The wreath laying ceremony.
Note the military honor guard standing behind the memorial – as far as I am aware, they held their salute throughout the entire wreath laying which took several minutes.
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Fred took us back after everyone had left so we could take pictures.
The wreath that Bill and I placed.
The two panels, directly behind the wreaths, contain the names of citizens from Ouddorp who were killed during the war, some victims of German labor camps in Germany, some soldiers from the Dutch Army, others casualties when attacked by the Germans bombing the village of Ouddorp in May, 1940.
I felt it was necessary to list those names here so that they may not be forgotten, as the Dutch people honor our Veterans by not allowing them to be forgotten. The dates on the panels appear as numbers – day/month/year – which I found to be confusing as we do not generally write dates that way. For ease of reading I have changed the date format showing month/day/year instead. The name appearing between the two sets of dates are where these individuals lost their lives. The man who died in Thailand was a soldier in the Dutch Army who was serving in Thailand.
1940 – 1945
VOOR HENDIE VIELEN
(For Those Who Died/Gave Their Lives)
Van ‘T Geloof, Markus – 12-02-1908 – Cuyk – 05-10-1940
Breen, Jacob – 01-15-1915 – Tholen – 05-15-1940
Meijer, Jan Cornelis – 08-19-1889 – Ouddorp – 11-01-1940
Meijer, Lena – 06-23-1928 – Ouddorp – 11-01-1940
Akershoek, Klass – 10-15-1918 – Nabij Engelse Kust – 06-1941
Haas-Franken, Anna – 05-08-1873 – Oswieqlm (P) – 10-26-1942
Van Wijk, Arnoldus – 12-18-1924 – Amersfoort – 02-17-1943
Hameeteman, Martijn – 07-18-1908 – Thailand – 08-04-1943
Sperling, Johannes – 11-09-1925 – Weert – 03-19-1944
Hoogmoed, Markus – 10-14-1918 – Goedereede – 09-11-1944
Hameeteman, Dimmen – 05-19-1925 – Braunschweig – 10-29-1944
Breen, Adrianus Aren – 12-12-1905 – Nordhausen – 02-02-1945
Lokker, Adrianus – 09-08-1911 – Hamburg – 02-03-1945
Meijer, Thomas – 11-10-1917 – Hessenrode – 03-20-1945
Koek, Theunis Krijn – 08-12-1913 – Hessenrode – 03-27-1945
Hameeteman, Eeuwit – 06-06-1914 – Salza – 04-09-1945
Van Wijk, Jacob – 01-13-1922 – Jutzenbach – 04-12-1945
Nieman, Aren – 11-14-1904 – Petersdorf – 04-16-1945
Witte, Theodoris Fr. – 07-10-1916 – Hela Danzig – 04-16-1945
Mastenbroek, Willem – 07-05-1925 – Neustadt/Holstein – 05-03-1945
Komtebedde, Jan – 08-24-1922 – Nordhausen – 05-06-1945
Molesteeg, Gerrit – 07-14-1913 – Sandbostel – 05-10-1945
Hoek, Johannes – 02-06-1920 – Wittstock – 05-31-1945
De Mooij, Krijn – 02-03-1915 – Parijs – 07-16-1944
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Fred tells the following story of what his father saw:
“The bombs dropped in the street I (Fred) live on now. They came from German bombers and killed 2 family members. [Jan Cornelis Meijer and Lena Meijer, a child of 12 years] Do you know what these nazi’s did? When English bombers started to go to Germany, the German fighters tried to shoot them, of course, but what these Germans did was fly a few bombers behind the English and dropped bombs on the area they flew over and killed some people. Then the Germans wrote the English bombed a village or a town in Holland but that was not the case. They did this. That is why older people, like my dad, still do not like them. We call them the moffen (English say jerries).”
Meijer, Jan Cornelis – Fred’s father’s uncle.
Meijer, Lena – 12 year old daughter of Jan Cornelis – Fred’s father’s niece.
Hoogmoed, Markus – killed in a tram (small train) attacked by 3 spitfires. The wagon has been restored and is now in a museum.
Hoek, Johannes – not a relative of Fred – was with the resistance on their island, Goeree Overflakkee. He was taken prisoner and sent to a labor camp and was killed over there.
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The memorial panel on the right behind the first wreath is in memory of the 3 fishermen who lost their lives 10 years ago. They had been fishing and were bringing in their nets unknowingly bringing in a bomb from WWII which detonated killing them. Two other instances of fishermen netting bombs have occurred, however they were able to remove themselves from the danger before they detonated. The two women who placed the wreath are relatives of the 3 who were killed.
THE FISHERMEN MONUMENT
TER HERINNERING AAN
DE RAMP MET DE OD1
(Reminder of the Disaster of the OD1)
6 April 2005
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4 January 1945
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J. van der KLOOSTER
4 September 1976
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J. J. van BELZEN
1 August 1966
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The monuments in Ouddorp are adopted by the children of their 2 schools.
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