Veterans

December 19, 2012

Vets gather to honor thousands felled at Battle of the Bulge

Veterans of what became the greatest land battle in the history of the U.S. Army gathered at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., Dec. 16, to remember and pay tribute to the 19,000 soldiers who didn’t return home from the Battle of the Bulge, which raged in Europe from Dec. 16, 1944 to Jan. 25, 1945.

Sons, daughters and grandchildren accompanied the former soldiers, who are all in their 80s and 90s, to the memorial where wreaths were presented by the ambassadors of Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. In a follow-on ceremony, a wreath was laid at the Tomb of the Unknowns by the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge.

John D. Bowen, vice president of the Battle of the Bulge Historical Foundation and recording secretary of the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, said about 88 veterans and family members attended the wreath-laying. He noted that while there are about 3,000 Bulge veterans around the country, there are another 1,500 who are associate members. Associates include family members and anyone who has an interest in the battle.

“We have more and more sons and daughters coming to these events,” Bowen said. “The benefit to them is that when the veterans get together, they talk among themselves about their experiences, then they open up more to their children who haven’t heard their stories.”

Aside from being the most territorially expansive battle of World War II, stretching along the Siegfried Line from The Netherlands border to Belgium and Luxembourg, the Battle of the Bulge was fundamentally Adolph Hitler’s final offensive at stopping the Allied drive into Germany.

The battle occurred during one of the coldest winters on record in Europe.

“That was a cold, cold winter in ’44 and ’45,” said Mike Levin, 93, who fought with the 7th Armored Division in the Bulge.

The battle pitted roughly 610,000 Allied troops against 500,000 Axis soldiers. Had the German army been able to encircle the four American armies, Hitler had intended to sue for a negotiated peace. The Reich however failed, losing more than 85,000 troops. In the process, the Allies liberated Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as France, during one of the coldest winters in Europe.

Jan Matthysen, the Belgian ambassador said recognizing the soldiers who fought at the Battle of the Bulge was a celebration that his country does every year by laying a wreath at Arlington and hosting a Christmas party for the veterans at the embassy.

“This is a small part of the celebration we do every year in Bastogne where our monument of the Battle of the Bulge stands and where Belgian school children learn the American anthem,” he said. “Each and every young generation continues to commemorate those Soldiers.”

Luxembourg ambassador Jean-Louis Wolzfeld said the only battle his country experienced during World War II was the Battle of the Bulge, but it was the outcome of that battle which allowed his country to regain its sovereignty after five years of suffering under Germany.

“We have always since then throughout generations been very grateful to those young American men and women who did not hesitate to cross the Atlantic far from their own country to save us in a very selfless manner,” Wolzfeld said. “We have enormous gratitude to the Americans who participated in that operation.”

In honor of the price paid for Luxembourg’s freedom, the U.S was granted 50 acres for a cemetery where more than 5,000 American service members are buried, including Gen. George S. Patton Jr.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines December 17, 2014

News: U.S. Air Force tanker platform slated for year-end debut - Boeing is planning for first flight of its 767-2C – upon which the U.S. Air Force’s new KC-46 tanker will be based – by year’s end, six months late. Northrop Grumman wins $657.4 million deal to supply drones to South Korea - Northrop Grumman has won...
 
 

NASA launches new Micro-g NExT for undergraduates

NASA is offering undergraduate students an opportunity to participate in a new microgravity activity called Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams. The deadline for proposals is Jan. 28, 2015. Micro-g NExT challenges students to work in teams to design and build prototypes of spacewalking tools to be used by astronauts for spacewalk training in the...
 
 
launch1

Storm fails to quench liftoff of secret reconnaissance satellite

The fiery launch of an Atlas V (541), among the most powerful of the venerable Atlas family, briefly dispelled the gloom over Californiaís Central Coast on the evening of Dec. 12. A team of personnel from United Launch Allianc...
 

 
Coast Guard photograph

Navy demonstrates unmanned helicopter operations aboard Coast Guard cutter

http://static.dvidshub.net/media/video/1412/DOD_102145893/DOD_102145893-512×288-442k.mp4 Coast Guard photograph An MQ-8B Fire Scout UAS is tested off the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf near Los Angeles, Dec. 5 2014. The Coast...
 
 
GPS-OCX

GPS III, OCX successfully demonstrate key satellite command, control capabilities

Lockheed Martin and Raytheon successfully completed the fourth of five planned launch and early orbit exercises to demonstrate new automation capabilities, information assurance and launch readiness of the worldís most powerfu...
 
 

Aerojet Rocketdyne successfully demonstrates 3D printed rocket propulsion system for satellites

Aerojet Rocketdyne has successfully completed a hot-fire test of its MPS-120 CubeSat High-Impulse Adaptable Modular Propulsion System. The MPS-120 is the first 3D-printed hydrazine integrated propulsion system and is designed to provide propulsion for CubeSats, enabling missions not previously available to these tiny satellites. The project was funded out of the NASA Office of Chief...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>