FC: Battle of the Bulge 65th Anniversary Tour May 3-11, 2010
1: Battle of the Bulge 65th Anniversary Tour May 3-11, 2010
2: Brussels, Belgium | The main shopping street in Brussels--Rue Neuve. | James Bond disappears into the crowded city street...
3: The three veterans of the 87th Infantry Division: Maury Diamond, Dad, and Howard Scheinholz. | Left and Below: Outside our hotel, the Thon City Centre. | Dad with Roger Leavitt and Jake Eastham
4: Below and Right: Dinner at Falstaff Restaurant, our first evening in Brussels
5: The Brussels Stock Exchange
6: The Atomium, built for the 1958 Brussels World's Fair, is supposed to look like the unit cell of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. | Expo Hall--located near the Atomium | Another hall near the Atomium
7: The Cathedral of St. Michael and Gudula--built in 1047 and renovated in the Gothic style in the 13th century. It is named for the patron saints of Belgium and is the primary church of the country.
8: Basilica of Koekelberg | Construction of the Basilica of Koekelberg was started in 1905 to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Belgian independence. | Side view | View from the steps looking toward the city
10: Above and Right: Cinquantenaire Park. We visited the Royal Military Museum there. | Left: Crowds waiting to tour the Royal Residence--Chateau de Laeken Right: the Royal Palace
11: Godfreid of Bouillon statue | One of the cobblestone streets leading up to the Grand Place (city square) | Above and Left: Sablon Square The 48 statues around the park represent the medieval guilds of Brussels.
12: Brussels Grand' Place (City Square) | Right: Hotel de Ville (City Hall) | Above: Houses of the Dukes of Brabant | Left: Guildhalls
13: Guildhalls | Dad and his fellow Golden Acorn pal, Howard
14: Bastogne | Above: McAuliffe Square | Above: One of the streets leading away from the town square--the arch says "Merci!" | Dad receives a medal from the mayor of Bastogne
15: Right and Below: A Belgian officer presented each veteran with a gift of appreciation in the former underground headquarters of General Anthony McAuliffe. | Below: The office from which General McAuliffe sent his famous "Nuts!" response to the Germans who had Bastogne surrounded and were demanding surrender.
16: Mardasson Monument | The Mardasson Monument near Bastogne was built as a tribute to American soldiers who rescued the city in December of 1944. | The three 87th infantry veterans led the wreath-laying ceremony. Dad carried the wreath. | Howard counted cadence. | At the entrance to the monument
17: The monument lists all of the divisions involved in the liberation of Bastogne, included, of course, is the 87th Infantry "Golden Acorn" Division.
18: Belgian Countryside | Almost all of the houses were made of stone or brick. | It was very green and lush. | Every village had a church. The one on the left is near where the father of the man in the foreground, Ron Krum, received a bullet wound to the head and was taken prisoner.
19: This church was in the village of Moircy. Howard remembered hiding in a house near here. | Left: A plaque near the door honors the soldiers of the 87th Infantry, like Dad and Howard, who fought here. | Above: The church was very ornate inside. Maureen Cronin, one of the other tour group members, told me you get to make three wishes when visiting a new church. I wished that we would find Dad's billfold--and we did! | Moircy
20: St. Hubert | Above and Left: The plaque Dad is standing beside is on the city hall building. | Above: The street leading up to the St. Hubert Hotel de Ville (City Hall) Left Top: St. Hubert Hotel de Ville
21: Dad thought St. Hubert looked pretty much like it did when he was here during the war. The Germans gave up St. Hubert without a fight, so it wasn't destroyed like many of the other towns in the area. The picture on top was taken during our trip. The one below shows soldiers entering the town during the war.
22: Luxembourg City
23: A giant ravine runs right down the middle of Luxembourg City. A couple of big bridges run across it and there are several buildings and houses along the sides and even at the bottom.
24: Schumanns Eck The Luxembourg National Battle of the Bulge Monument
25: Wiltz | The Deputy Mayor of Wiltz with ten of the veterans. Front Row: Howard Scheinholz, Jake Eastham, the Wiltz Deputy Mayor, Maury Diamond, and L.V. Freeman. Back Row: Dick Williams, Dad, Ed Marks, Roger Leavitt, Mike Ottomano, and Arthur Loukas. | The Wiltz Hotel de Ville (City Hall)
26: VE Day in Dudelange, Luxembourg
27: On VE Day, a service was held at the beautiful and amazingly ornate St. Martin's Church in Dudelange. The program on the facing page is from that service. | The service was presided over by a Catholic priest, an Anglican priest, and a Lutheran pastor.
28: St. Martin's Church was built in the 1890s and has many wonderful murals painted on the walls. | St. Martin's Church
29: The music during the service was beautiful! There was a choir and a fabulous organ in the balcony at the back of the church. Many well known organists have come here to make recordings. | Above and Left: Outside the church following the service Left: Dad is turning his hearing aid back on in this picture. The organ music during the service was lovely but tremendously loud.
30: Following the church service, there was a parade down the street to a military monument for another ceremony. | Dudelange
31: Right: After the ceremony at the military monument, everyone walked back to the Dudelange City Hall for more speeches from other Luxembourg officials. Below: The American Ambassador to Luxembourg, Cynthia Stroum, posed for a picture with the veterans and some of their relatives.
32: Traffic was stopped for about ten minutes along this street so that the veterans could hold a wreath-laying ceremony at this monument. | Wreath-Laying in Dudelange
33: Above and Right: The Foundation Pescatore is a retirement home that served as General Patton's headquarters in Luxembourg during the war. | General Patton's Third Army Headquarters in Luxembourg
34: In the Chapel of General Patton's Third Army Headquarters | Helen Patton, the general's granddaughter, gave a speech and helped present medals, certificates, and books to the veterans.
35: Below: Helen Patton read a prayer written by her grandfather in December of 1944. She was very dramatic!
36: Luxembourg American Military Cemetery | Above: The stone chapel Right Top: The entrance gate Right Bottom: A small wreath-laying ceremony was held at the chapel. Helen Patton and a United States general took part.
37: Over five thousand American soldiers, including General Patton, are buried at this cemetery near Luxembourg City, Most of the Dead were casualties of the Battle of the Bulge. This was, by far, the most emotional part of the tour.
38: Houffalize | Above: During a hasty retreat in 1945, this German Mark V Panther tank slid into the river running through the small town of Houffalize, Belgium. The Germans left it behind. | Above and Right: Years later, the people of Houffalize dragged the tank out of the river and made it into a monument.
39: Above and Left: Pictures from the street with the tank monument. Bottom Left: A primary school
40: Parker's Crossroads (A.K.A. Baroque de Fraiture) | Left: The final wreath-laying ceremony of the tour was held at this monument to a battle fought at this location in December of 1944. Part of an anti-tank gun can be seen on the right. | Above: Dad receives another certificate of appreciation from the Belgian people. Left: We had a traditional Belgian country lunch at this restaurant.
41: This memorial of the Malmedy Massacre is at Baugnez, Belgium. Each black stone embedded in the wall represents one of the 84 American soldiers taken prisoner and then murdered by their German captors on December 17, 1944. | Malmedy Massacre Memorial
42: Above: The Maginot Line was a line of concrete fortifications and other defenses built by France along its borders with Germany and Italy in the run up to World War II. This was the only time during our trip we were in France, and then it was only briefly to visit the bunker seen below. The field of yellow in the background is rapeseed, used to make canola oil. There was lots of it in Belgium and France.
43: Pictured below and barely visible in the trees above, are "dragon's teeth", pyramid-shaped fortifications of reinforced concrete built by the Germans and used primarily along the Siefried Line to slow down and channel tanks into "killing zones" where they could be disposed of by anti-tank weapons. They turned out to be not as effective as the Germans had hoped.
44: Cologne | The Cologne Cathedral is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe. Construction on it began in the 13th century. It was one of the few structures left standing in Cologne after allied air raids.
45: The inside of the cathedral is as ornate as the outside. It is traditionally believed to house the remains of the Three Wise Men.
46: Castles on the Rhine | The pictures on this page are all of Fortress Ehrenbreitstein. It is near Koblenz, right at the juncture of the Rhine and the Moselle Rivers. Dad remembered seeing this castle while standing guard in a house across the river.
47: Below and Left: Marksburg Castle
49: Above: Sterrenberg Castle | Above: Liebenstein Castle
50: The pictures on this page are all of vineyards on the steep slopes of the Rhine River. The two pictures above are of working vineyards. The one to the left is of an abandoned vineyard.
52: Left Top: Rheinfels Fortress Left Bottom: Maus (Mouse) Castle Below: Katz (Cat) Castle
53: Above: During the Middle Ages, Loreley Rock was known as the most dangerous section of the Rhine. Many mariners came to tragedy here. | Above: The Loreley Statue--according to legend, Loreley was a beautiful maiden who sat on the rock, combing her long golden hair and luring sailors to their destruction. | Loreley
54: Top Left: Furstenberg Castle Ruin | Above: Dad talking with Jake Eastham
55: Above: Sooneck Castle | Above and Below: Reinchenstein Castle
56: Above and Right: Rheinstein Castle | Above: Reinchenstein Castle
57: Above: Stahlneck Castle
58: Right: Ehrenfels Castle Ruin
59: The End | Auf Wiedersehen!