75 Years Ago This Week

A bridge too far?

This week the region I live in the Netherlands has had a number of memorial services, airshows, parachuting, and other events all in memory of Operation Market Garden that took place in the week from September 17 to 25 of 1944.

As a Dutch kid in the 70’s learning about WWII was an integral part of the educational experience and on a personal level even more so. During the sloppy target of opportunity bombardment of the city of Nijmegen by US B-24 bombers a half year prior to Operation Market Garden my father miraculously only lost his hearing in his left ear. Large parts of the riverside city center were decimated and officially 800 people who weren’t that fortunate had perished.

The event that followed six months later is remembered by the locals and US Allies in the region annually with various events. Solemn memorial services for those who had lost their lives trying to get a grip on the German Ruhr area and more light-hearted events such as music festivals and memorial marches. To date, there are still American, British, Polish and Canadian airborne veterans — or original Antifa as I like to call them — that partake in the annual parachute jumps, some even at age 97!

One has to wonder how bitter some of these men must feel having lost brothers in arms only to come to the realization that white nationalism that once swept over Germany and large parts of Europe has arrived yet again and even across the Atlantic where it is being normalized by the country’s president.

About forkless 299 Articles
Part-time despot and Dutch mini-pancake connoisseur. Has been known to play a musical instrument or two, much to the chagrin of people and pets around him.