Please share your experience
On Saturday, May 5th, 2018, I was honored to be recognized as the Veteran of the Day and to forever become a part of the Sunset March.
As a Veteran of the United Stated military, it was humbling to see the dedication made each and every day to recognize the sacrifice made by those 48 US paratroopers on 20 September 1944.
I can not put to words the feeling I had while walking the bridge. A mix of sadness for their ultimate sacrifice but a feeling of pride. I am proud to be an American Veteran but I am also so proud of the people of Nijmegen for the creation of this amazing bridge and so proud of the Dutch Veterans who have taken on the task of forever remembering the sacrifices of so many during a time that seems so long ago.
May we never forget those sacrifices that allow us all to live as free people today.
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of the Sunset March. I will forever remember that evening and forever be proud to call myself a Sunset Marcher!
Sunset March Veterans, especially Kees Bleijerveld, Partners, and citizens of Nijmegen,
Sergeant William (Bill) Emil Kero, 82nd Airborne Division 307 Engineer Battalion Co C, was killed in action on September 20th, 1944, during the liberation of Nijmegen, fighting for the freedom of future generations. The oldest of seven children, from an American (Saxon, Wisconsin) farming family of Finnish descent, who previously lost his mother when he was 14 years old, courageously fought alongside his fellow brothers in arms in the largest airborne operation up until that point in WWII. For his extraordinary heroism, he was posthumously awarded a Distinguished Service Cross and Ridder vierde klasse der Militaire Willems Orde.
On his 97th birthday, representing the Kero family, I paid sincerest respects, to an uncle I had never met, by symbolically crossing the Waal river, during a Sunset March, bearing witness to his heroic “Sisu”, and then offering prayers for the 49 venerated soldiers voor hun Moed – Beleid – Trouw (for their Bravery – Leadership – Loyalty).
Please know that the Kero family is extremely honored, and deeply moved, by the touching memorial established by the citizens of Nijmegen. We are also truly humbled by the continued dedication to both remember and honor the fallen through the Sunset March. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to ensure that this significant piece of history is never forgotten.
Robert Emil Kero (son of Robert Herman Kero, USN WWII)
At the conclusion of the Sunset March September 16, 2017 the “veteran of the day” Colonel Jon P. Beale meets Steve Morgan who is a veteran of the fighting at Arnhem Bridge. Together they joined in the short but impressive ceremony at the end of Sunset March. Steve Morgan was very emotional and expressed his sincere gratitude to Jon Beale for the sacrifice of the 48 soldiers by saying: They died for me! After the ceremony he laid a wreath to honor the 48 American Soldiers of 82ND Airborne Division.
I was honored to represent the 504th PIR and 82nd ABN DIV and lead the March on the 71st Anniversary of Operation Market Garden this year. Forever thankful to those brave men who paved the way for a better Europe and world. ‘we will remember’ 20 September-
All The Way!
CPT Alvin Cavalier
Fort Bragg, USA
I just learned about the Sunset March while visiting my friend, Dorien te Pas in Wijchen. We went to the ‘Crossing’ and noticed a single man walking towards us on the bridge. It was Wim van Mierlo, the Dutch Army Veteran who was scheduled for the night walk. We introduced ourselves and I learned that I was the first American to make this Sunset March since it began. I am honored to be the first, but mostly so proud to know that the 48 American soldiers that died on September 20, 1944 are being memorialized through such a tremendous effort by the Dutch Veterans and people of Nijmegen.
The experience is so moving as you walk along with the lights turning on, one by one as you ‘march’ across the bridge. The structure is so beautiful and the meaning of each Sunset March so powerful. I also learned that most nights the single Veteran makes this walk alone due to lack of awareness of the people. If you are reading this, please inform your friends and family to come join the Veteran. You will have a beautiful experience.
Thank you to all Veterans.
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