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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 great happening.

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 home.

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.