Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Honouring ‘Market Garden’ Heroes

(Top) Arnhem resident, guide and poet Sam Rubens
(Bottom) The ‘Cross of Sacrifice’ Arnhem / Oosterbeek Cemetery

For additional information click on ‘Comments’ below


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information

The top photograph above is of Arnhem resident, guide, local historian and poet Mr Sam Rubens. Sam honours those who took part in Operation Market Garden in September 1944 with a collection of artefacts from those days, which are often displayed adjacent to Arnhem’s ‘John Frost Bridge’ during annual commemorations each September.

Sam also writes poetry – in Dutch and English – to remember the people and events connected to ‘Market Garden’. Over the years Sam has spoken to many veterans and residents who lived through Operation Market Garden and he has a lot of detailed knowledge of the history of ‘Market Garden’.

The lower photograph seen shows the Commonwealth War Graves Commission ‘Cross of Sacrifice’ at Arnhem / Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Netherlands where most of the Allied servicemen who lost their lives during ‘Operation Market Garden’ are buried. Each year in September, to coincide with the anniversary of ‘Market Garden’, local Dutch people, ‘Market Garden’ veterans, families and friends of those who died and many others gather at the cemetery for a service of commemoration.

This particular photograph was taken shortly before the September 2008 ceremony at the cemetery. Marching past the ‘Cross of Sacrifice’ are some currently serving paratroopers wearing the red berets, which have been worn by the airborne troops since the Second World War.

Wednesday, 22 December, 2010  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

The following poem, 'Ode to Market Garden' is by Sam Rubens about the men of the 1st Allied Airborne Division. In it Mr Rubens remembers those who gave their lives during the attempt to capture the bridge at Arnhem and liberate the Dutch people.

I believe this poem captures the essence of the men of the 1st Airborne Division who made the ultimate sacrifice during Operation ‘Market Garden’. Thanks to Sam Rubens for allowing this poem to be quoted

‘Ode to Market Garden’
By Sam Rubens

Close your eyes for a moment and think way back,
Of the Sunday that Arnhem’s bonds should crack,
Remember the soldiers, those loyal men all,
Fighting for Arnhem, where many would fall.

Now open your eyes and scan the sky,
Where they came down like birds from on high,
Those red berets, so courageous, without fear,
Who strived for Arnhem and paid so dear.

Close your eyes once more and remember your gains,
For our bright world they went to great pains,
Let us all realise we’re still free today,
Because they brought us freedom, they pointed the way.

Just fold your hands now, for Britons and Poles,
Beneath their white crosses and pray for their souls,
When your prayer is over, keep the memory alight,
Our city still lives because they did us right.

Wednesday, 22 December, 2010  

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