X-mas Eve 2017 at the Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery

Discussion in 'War Grave Photographs' started by stolpi, Dec 24, 2017.

  1. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    This X-mas evening memorial lights were placed at the graves on the War Cemetery in Groesbeek, Holland. The third edition of a new tradition which started several years ago. There were also, for the first time, candles lit at the Jonkersbosch Cemetery at Nijmegen. Together some 4.200 lights. I know that the same thing takes place at the Holten War Cemetery each year, for the past 25 years or so.

    As usual a massive turn out of people, young and old ...

    At 16:00 hrs a start was made with placing the candles ...


    ... one at each grave
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
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  2. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    With so many hands on deck the job was done within half an hour ...



    ... all 2617 graves ... the lights will be kept burning for 48 hours, so on both Christmas Days.

    Meanwhile daylight started to fade ...
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    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
  3. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

  4. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
  5. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
  6. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
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  7. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member


    An impressive sight ..... Merry Christmas

    Last edited: Dec 25, 2017
  8. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    A wonderful tradition!

    Thanks for those photos Pieter.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
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  9. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    I came across this tradition a few years ago at Holten Canadian War Cemetery. They have been doing this since 1991. It's amazing sight.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2017
  10. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    I think it is very impressive and caring
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  11. Bedee

    Bedee Well-Known Member

    We will remember them.......
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  12. A very moving gesture. It is warms our hearts to see the old and the young honouring those who paid the highest price for our freedom.

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  13. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member Patron

    Amazing photos. Thank you for posting.
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  14. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member Patron

    The Dutch are exemplary at remembering. If only Canadian families knew more about what the ultimate generation did during the liberation of the Netherlands.
    Canadian schools shun history. We are a nation of peace keepers say the liberal left. BS! We were a nation of peace makers.
    Rant over.
  15. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member Patron

    The Dutch remember. Well presented Stolpi.
    stolpi likes this.
  16. Paul Bradford

    Paul Bradford Active Member

    I only found out about this tradition yesterday and looking at this thread literally brought tears to my eyes.I read about it on a newsletter from wog2o in The Netherlands. For the information of others, I have included part of the newsletter here. What a wonderful tradition. I would love to go, but it is a little too far on Christmas Eve. However, maybe I can do the same here in France.

    'Finnish tradition'
    On Christmas Eve 1991, school children placed burning candles on all graves at the Canadian military cemetery in Holten for the first time. The initiative for this was taken by Leena van Dam. In her native Finland it is a tradition to commemorate loved ones who died this Christmas Eve. Since then, candles have been lit every year on 24 December on the 1,394 graves of Canadian soldiers. Four days before Christmas Eve 2015, Dick Jansen from Burgum had the idea to light a light on the war graves in his hometown. He then set up a Facebook promotion, hoping that the idea was picked up by others. The response was unbelievable, on Christmas Eve there were candles at more than 140 places in the Netherlands at war graves.

    Allied war graves
    In 2019 this beautiful project will of course be continued and more than 350 places have already been registered, where on Christmas Eve (December 24) a candle will burn at a war grave. Since 2016, the WO2GO Foundation has been participating in this project 'Lights on war graves', in which volunteers place candles at the allied war graves on the island. Thirty allied soldiers are buried in Goeree-Overflakkee in Den Bommel, Herkingen, Middelharnis, Sommelsdijk, Goedereede and Ouddorp. The mourning candles that are placed, burn for about fifty hours and so on both Christmas days a light will burn as a reminder and those who have fallen for our freedom.

    Soldiers of Goeree-Overflakkee
    This year, for the first time, a candle will be lit at the war graves of soldiers who came from Goeree-Overflakkee and died during the Second World War or in the run-up to it. These are the soldiers Gerrit Born (Middelharnis), Jacob Breen and Mark van 't Geloof (both Ouddorp), Jan Troost (Goedereede), Leendert Goedegebuur (Melissant) and Stoffel van Dam (Stellendam). At the grave of Van Dam in Stellendam, Len van Beesten, himself a war veteran and living in Stellendam, will set up a small memorial.

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