From Commemoration and Reflection to Ongoing Awareness

A photo impression: 65 years of Liberty in Eindhoven by Henko Gardebroek, click here.

On September 18th, 1944, Holland's southern city of Eindhoven was liberated by allied troops from German occupation. These allied troops had initiated their "freedom mission" in Bayeux, France, with the city of Arnhem as their destination. Eindhoven's liberation, which took place nearly nine months prior to Germany's surrender in May 1945, has been commemorated and celebrated in this city ever since.

From the start, the emphasis of the celebration has been on the attendance and the honoring of these allied veterans, who have so greatly and bravely contributed to not only Eindhoven's liberation, but to the nation's deliverance from German occupation as well.
With the decline in number of surviving allied veterans, the awareness of what it means to live in freedom, has increasingly become an important theme during these annual celebrations.

Along with our expressions of gratitude towards our liberators, we want to emphasize to our citizens that living in freedom is never to be taken for granted and, therefore, worth fighting for on an ongoing basis. The involvement of Dutch military troops in peace missions worldwide, reflects Holland's strong commitment to global peace and justice for all of mankind.

Within the celebrations, ample time is dedicated to making Eindhoven's youth – the adults of the future – aware of the great gift of living in freedom.
An annual visit to Bayeux, France, by a delegation of students representing a number of the city's high schools, is just one of the many scheduled activities meant to bring about this awareness.

During the visit, students meet with Bayeux's mayor, visit American, British and German cemeteries, as well as the War Museum, and make an excursion to the Invasion Coast