Cees van der Wel
Running Time: 10'
With the participation of:
A. Jacobovitz - Ambassador
John Shaliskasvili .- U.S. Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces
And some WWII veterans
The shooting of this documentary took place in the Arlington National Cemetery during the commemoration of the U.S. soldiers who died in WWII to set Europe free and of the Dutch people who fought - both as soldiers and as members of the Resistance - against Hitler's armies and the Nazism.
Best known of more than one hundred national cemeteries in the United States, Arlington's green slopes shelter veterans from every war that has involved the nation. Over 225,000 servicemen and their family members rest on the 612 acres of Virginia land across the Potomac River from the Lincoln Memorial.
The Allied invasion of France (code-named Operation Overlord) on June 6, 1944, was one of the largest military operations in history. The purpose was to drive out the German Army, which had occupied France for four long years. The invasion, under the command of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, involved more than a million men and included Americans, British, Canadians, French, Poles, Dutch, Belgians, and Norwegians. The Germans knew the Allies were coming, but were not sure where, so they spread their Army all along the coast of France, Belgium, and Holland. Following two months of heavy bombing by Allied aircrafts, and with bad weather looming, the Allies began landing on the beaches of the Normandy Peninsula at dawn (code name D-Day for Debarkation Day). The British and Canadians quickly took their landing beaches of Gold, Juno, and Sword as did the Americans on Utah Beach. However, Americans on Omaha Beach ran into a firestorm of German resistance. Failure to hold Omaha Beach would have doomed the whole invasion. The Americans -- in some of the most heroic fighting of the entire war -- finally won the day and the Allies were on their way to free all Europe from the tyranny of the Nazis.
During this commemoration, Rutger recited the following poem, that was found on a dead U.S. soldier - he had written it just before losing his life during the battle.
“Look God, I've never spoken to you
But now I wanna say 'how are you',
You see God, they told me you didn't exist
And I like a fool believed all this
Last night from a shell-hole I saw your sky
And figured right then they told me a lie
And I'm taking time to see things you've made
I have known they weren't calling a spade, a spade
I wonder God if you'd shake my hand
Somehow I feel you would understand
Funny, I had to come to this hellish place
Before I had time to see your face
Well, I guess there isn't much more to say
But I sure am glad I met you today
I guess the zero hour will soon be here
But I'm not afraid since I know you are here
And there's the signal
Well God, I like you a lot, I want you to know
Look now, this will be a horrible fight
Who knows, I may come to your house tonight
Though I wasn't friendly to you before
I wonder God if you'd wait at your door
Look, I'm crying, me shedding tears
I wish I had known you these many years
Well God, I have to go now,
Strange, since I have met you
I'm not afraid to die”
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