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The American Cemetery in Margraten

by Toiny Westberry on 30 May 2012
in Adventures in Holland,Family,Personal Notes Pin this scrappy stuff!

I had a hard time writing this today, my hand notwithstanding.  I try to keep politics out of the store, and have it be a welcoming place for everyone.  But I am a soldiers wife.  I am soon to be a soldiers mother.  It is because of the military I am in Germany.  Politics are a big part of my life.

For Memorial Day we took a very quick, overnight, trip up to Holland.  Our dear friends are moving back stateside in June, how I will miss them, how I hate this part of the military. They had never been to Holland.  It wound up being our small family, two other dads, and two of their children.  We had a wonderful visit, and a stunning visit to the American Cemetery in Margraten.

Even if you do not have a loved one buried here, I highly recommend a visit.  It is beautiful kept, pristine, and a truly honorable memorial to our soldiers.  I have no one I know buried here.  Each visit I’m surprised by the emotion that wells up.  My throat tightens, tears well in my eyes.  They are boys buried here, many of them my sons ages.

Our friends little boy, he is just seven, had many questions as we stood in front of the map detailing the battles fought in Holland and just over the border in our Germany.  I answered them the best I could.  Being an army wife, a military mom, I couldn’t help but finish my answers with;

         “Someday you may need to come back and defend this country.”

He just nodded his head, and walked to the next wall, to see what that was about.   He has heard that many times.  But I stopped, I felt eyes on me, and I looked up to see the other visitors staring at me.   It took a moment for me to figure it out, and then I realized…  for me it is normal, it is how we raise our kids, it is the military culture.  For others it’s not.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 mischalaneous 14 June 2012 at 8:29 pm

I agree, Toiny. I visited this holy ground when visity friends in Nederland & Deutschland several years back. Then going to Valkenburg (or berg-I can’t remember) & seeing some of the buildings still carrying weapon marks from the war- there remains the feelings that those of us who have not experienced war on our soil, in our home, will never comprehend. Still I was moved. Thanks so much for sharing.


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