Dedication of the Ospel, Netherlands Monument to
U. S. 7th Armored Division Association Dead
May 26, 2007
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7th Armored Division Veterans at Ospel Monument Dedication
7th Armored Division Veterans at Ospel Monument Dedication
From left: William Boles (A/23 AIB), Calvin Boykin (Rcn/814 TD), Irvin Cash (A/77 Med), Edmund Burke (3/C/38 AIB), Robert Montgomery (1/A/38 AIB, 7AD Association President), Samuel Carrubba (AT/B/38 AIB), Niek Hendrix (Harry's son, who created the monument), Johannes Jansen (Rcn/23 AIB Dutch volunteer), Harry Hendrix (who wished to honor the men who liberated his home)

Also represented by family members not shown were four of the men commemorated on the monument: Claudius Chappell (C/38 AIB, son Don and his wife Gelia), Carmine Grasso (A/38 AIB, nephew Frank and his wife), Marvin Hjalmarson (A/33 Engr, Brother Jim and his son Eric), Earl Rainbow (AT/B/38 AIB, niece Edna Hackler and her husband Art and their grand-daughter Sidnee Allen)

Other 7th Armored Division veterans who attended but are not shown were Dutch volunteers Arnold Weijs (B/23 AIB) and Albert van Leeuwen (HQ/31 Tank). The first veteran to visit the monument was John Althuizen (B/23 AIB, Dutch volunteer, with his wife Jeanne) in early May.

Also represented by family members not shown were deceased veterans Robert Hasbrouck (Commanding General, son Bob), Jan Ghijsen (Bn HQ/38 AIB, wife) and Walter Johnston (AT/B/38 AIB, son Wesley).

In addition, the veterans were accompanied by their family members: Sam Carrubba's son Pete, Bob Montgomery's sons Rob and Randy, Billy Boles' wife Madeline, Calvin Boykin's sister Jo Anne, Irv Cash's wife Martha and daughter Kathy Cash Morrison


SATURDAY, 26 MAY 2007 10.30 HRS

Posting around the Monument 10.20 hours

Start of the Ceremony 10.30 hours
by Thijs Hendrix

1. Opening Speech
by Niek Hendrix, initiator of the Monument U. S. 7th Armored Division

2. Unveiling of the Monument
by Bob Montgomery, Pres. U.S. 7th Armored Division Association

3. Reading of the Names mentioned on the Monument
by Niek Hendrix

4. Prayer
by Father Koumans

5. Laying of Wreath
by Colonel Paul T. Calbos, U.S. Army Military Attaché and Don Chappell
Nina and Stan Hendrix will lay flowers at the monument on behalf of the Hendrix Family

6. The Last Post by Harold Geurtjens

7. Minute of Silence

8. Reveille
by Harold Geurtjens

9. American National Anthem
"The Star Spangled Banner"

10. Dutch National Anthem
"Het Wilhelmus"

11. Closing
by Niek Hendrix

by Niek Hendrix

Dear Guests, welcome at the dedication of this monument. A special welcome to the military attaché of the United States Army in The Hague, Colonel Calbos, the President of the 7th Armored Division Association, the veterans and their families, the families of the men that are mentioned on the monument, and the Legion of Veterans of Ospel. Also a special welcome to my father Harry and my family who helped me to achieve this goal. And last but not least Wesley Johnston, a son of a veteran who collaborated with me for so many years to accomplish a monument for the 7th Armored Division that fought so hard during our liberation in World War Two. Never forget that many soldiers of this Division payed the highest price so we could live in freedom. On this monument are listed the names of 48 soldiers who were killed during the liberation of Ospel. This monument is a tribute to all soldiers of the 7th Armored Division that fought in the Peel area in October and November 1944 and will make sure that they will not be forgotten.

God bless you all.

Thank you very much.

Geachte aanwezigen, welkom bij de opening van dit monument. Een speciaal welkom voor de Militaire Attaché van de Verenigde Staten in Den Haag, Kolonel Calbos, de President van de 7e Amerikaanse Pantserdivisie Associatie de veteranen met hun familie, de families van de soldaten die op het monument staan en de Bond van Wapenbroeders afd Ospel. Ook een speciaal welkom voor mijn vader Harry en mijn familie die allemaal meegeholpen hebben om dit doel te bereiken. En niet te vergeten Wesley Johnston, een zoon van een veteraan, waar ik zo lang en zo goed mee samengewerkt heb om een monument te verwezelijken voor deze divisie, die in de Tweede Wereldoorlog zo hard gevochten heeft voor onze bevrijding. We mogen nooit vergeten dat de soldaten van deze divisie de hoogste prijs hebben betaald, zodat wij in vrijheid kunnen leven. Op dit monument staan de namen van 48 soldaten die sneuvelden tijdens de bevrijding van Ospel. Het monument is een eerbetoon aan alle soldaten van de 7e Amerikaanse Pantserdivisie die gevochten hebben in het Peelgebied in October en November 1944 en zal er voor zorgen dat ze niet vergeten worden.

Dank u wel.

by Niek Hendrix

Ik wil de ceremonie afsluiten met de woorden die Generaal Eisenhower na onze bevrijding geschreven heeft in het gouden boek in de Kathedraal van St. Paul in London.

"Hier worden wij ,en allen die na ons in vrijheid leven eraan herinnerd, dat wij bij deze mannen en hun kameraden een schuld hebben, en in dankbare herinnering aan hun opoffering, dienen wij ons in te zetten om het doel waar zij voor gestorven zijn te laten voortleven."

Dank u wel.

I want to close the ceremony with the words that General Eisenhower wrote in the Golden Book in St. Paul's Cathedral in London after our liberation.

"Here we and all who shall hereafter live in freedom will be reminded that to these men and their comrades we owe a debt to be paid with grateful rememberance of their sacrifice and with the high resolve that the cause for which they died shall live."

God bless you all.

Thank you very much.

by Thijs Hendrix

Following the ceremonies and a bus trip to Meijel and Overloon, the veterans and family members were hosted at a dinner in Weert, at which Thijs Hendrix, offered the following welcome.

Dear Veterans, Esteemed Guests from the United States of America, Ladies, and Gentlemen. It is an honor and a privilege to welcome you here and to host this dinner on behalf of Rotary Club Weert Land van Horne. We as Rotary Club Weert Land van Horne most gratefully accepted the invitation to host this dinner tonight. As an older brother of Niek, I am standing here on two strong legs. Proud I am on my Club and on my brother for their contributions to today's Ceremony and this Victory Tour. Privileged to speak on behalf of my Club and my Fellow Rotarians.

This evening we have 48 empty chairs in our middle. In fact they are not empty. Through the Monument in Ospel that was unvelied today and carries their Names, and through your Victory Tour, they are this evening in our midst. After their, and many others', sacrifices, Europe lived and lives in peace. I, and many others here tonight, were born after the Second World War and can testify of what it means to live in peace and to not see our children go to war.

Let me also inform you the object of Rotary. The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster: the development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service; high ethical standards in business and professions, the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations, and the dignifying of each Rotarian's occupation as an opportunity to serve society; the application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian's personal, business and community life; the advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service. William B. Boyd, our Rotary International 2006-2007 president gave as a theme to his year: "Lead the way to a brighter Future through Fellowship and Service."

Tonight, and as Rotary Club we hope to have added to that, we serve our communities and our countries: by honouring these 48 men and once more realize what their sacrifice means to us, by keeping their contribution to peace in the world alive, by participating in the Victory Tour we serve international understanding and friendship, we serve the cause of peace.

Let us hope that International Understanding and peace may come one day to every corner of our world and that all people on the globe will enjoy the cultural differences and enjoy peace.

One minute silence.

On behalf of all my Fellow Rotarians in our Rotary Club Weert Land van Horne I wish you a wonderful evening.

Thank you.

by Niek Hendrix

The entire 7th Armored Division Victory Tour trip lasted four days. The first day was the dedication of the monument. The second day was to attend the Memorial Day weekend ceremnonies at the U. S. Military Cemetery at Margraten. The third and fourth days were for trips to the Ardennes in Belgium for sites of the Battle of the Bulge. At the end of the trip, Niek Hendrix bade farewell to the veterans and their families with the following remarks.

I want to thank you all for coming over here for the 7th Armored Division Victory Tour and for the dedication of the Ospel monument. I can assure you that you are all a credit to the Association. My family and I and the people of Ospel are very proud and honored that you were our guests. New friendships were made and friendships were renewed.

The Ospel monument is a tribute to the men of the 7th Armored Division that never could go home and for all those who had to fight in the Peel Marshes in October and November 1944. I will take care of the monument as long as I live and after me my two sons. People of the American Battle Monuments Commission told me that if for some reason my family and I can not do it anymore they will take over. That means that as long as there will be a United States of America there will be a monument for the 7th Armored Division. The monument will live forever and that means you will live forever.

God bless you all.

Thank you very much.

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