Once again a group of
veterans of the 7th Armored Division came back to Europe to visit the
former battlefield. They started in The Netherlands, where they were
part of a ceremony of a new Monument erected in Ospel. This tiny place
was an important one during the fightings for Ospel, Meijel, etc. The
veterans and their family visited also the museum of Overloon, where
the 7th Armored was heavily involved during the October 1944 fightings.
After the Margraten ceremony on Sunday, 27 May I organised a two day
Battlefield Tour in the Ardennes. First we went to St Vith, to place a
wreath at the plaque that is at the Townhal for the defence of St Vith
between 17 and 23 December 1944.
With the help of the Dutch Military School and USA Garrison Benelux,
who provided a Colour Guard for the wreathlaying ceremony, it was a
The Mayor of St Vith, Mr Cristian Krings, invited us after the
wreathlaying in the townhall, and after a speech from the Mayor,
Colonel Dean A Nowowiejski, Commander USAG Benelux, and some thank
words from myself, the group continued to a nice place to have lunch
(Hotel / Restaurant Steineweiher).
After the lunch we continued to the small town of Wereth, where we
placed a wreath for the 11 soldiers who were killed there. After the
ceremonial part of the Tour, we continues to see some of the places the
veterans fought during the heavy battle for St Vith.
Then we were going to Vielsalm were the group was invited for a drink
and dinner. This was to take place in Grand Halleux, another place that
was defended by the 7th Armored Division.
The 2nd day in The Ardennes started with a visit to Elsenborn Camp. The
Museum they have on The Battle of the Bulge - The North Shoulder is one
not many know about, but it is full with the history of the Camp, the
Battle of Elsenborn Ridge, etc. After the visit, we had lunch at the
Elsenborn Camp, and than went to Baugnez to put a wreath at the
Monument for the men who died there during the Malmédy Massacre.
A ceremony that was again a special one. Another group of volunteers of
USAG Benelux and Major Sonja Granger supported us with the ceremony.
Mike Lany played the bagpipes
and Major Sonja Granger of the USA Garrison Benelux said a few words to
thank the veterans for what they did for us. Also Bob Montgomery, the
President of the 7th Armored Division thanked us in his speech.
After the cermonial part was over, the veterans went back to their
hotel, to do some last shopping and some rest for their flight back
For me this was the first time that I met with Calvin Boykin, with who
I have been in touch for over 10 years, and we finally good shake
hands. Some of Calvin's stories
(click on stories to read more from him) are here on the site.