In Waalre, next Wednesday(14th September), the 78th commemoration of the fallen soldiers and resistance fighters in Brabant in the Second World War will take place. “This year, we will do it again as we are used to.”
Jo Claessen, secretary of Stichting Herdenking Brabantse Gesneuvelden, is happy that the event is back in its old form. “During corona, we held the commemoration in a small circle. I am pleased that we can do it again on a grand scale.”
Peace and solidarity
The theme this year is peace and solidarity. “In addition to the Brabant soldiers who died during the First and Second World Wars, we commemorate all other soldiers who lost their lives.”
Various administrators will attend the ceremony. The Queen’s Commissioner, Ina Adema, will be present, among others. The mayor of Waalre has also been invited. Hostess Christel de Laat will also give a speech, and veterans will tell stories.
Involving young people
It could all be a bit looser than 40 years ago.
-Jo Claessen, Stichting Herdenking Brabantse Gesneuvelden (Brabant Survivors’ Memorial Foundation)
The programme has been adapted to involve young people as well. “There will also be a video message from primary school De Meent. And we try to make it attractive to young people by means of musical contributions. It could all be a bit looser than 40 years ago,” says Claessen.
Still, the secretary does not expect the same turnout as the editions before Corona. “I don’t expect a full church this year. We notice that we have to put the commemoration on the map again. Unfortunately, the group of invited veterans who experienced the war is also getting smaller and smaller.”
Everyone is welcome
The commemoration will start at 19:00. Afterwards, there will be a wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial monument, the Old Willibrordus Church.
Translated by: Anitha Sevugan