To the editor:
I am writing to you about the editorial published in The Daily Item on Saturday, Sept. 16 written by David M. Shribman entitled “Keeping memories alive in the Netherlands.” Kudos to Mr. Shribman. I enjoyed reading his article about the soldiers and airmen who courageously fought and died in Europe and, in particular, in the Netherlands, during World War II.
Their tremendous sacrifice liberated an entire continent and ended a world war. They fought and died to do this for strangers in the name of peace. Thousands of these veterans are buried in the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe — never returning home.
I have visited the cemetery near Margraten, Netherlands, that he mentioned in the article. I was struck by its beauty and the wonderful care the cemetery receives from the good people of the Netherlands. I was awestruck by the perfectly manicured landscaping and the dramatic statues, memorials, and stunning architecture. It was a moving and emotional experience I will never forget.
I visited there in June of 2022 as part of my service to The American Legion as commander of Lynnfield Post 131. I was proud to honor two Lynnfield natives, David and Charles Todd, who were killed in action (KIA) in WWII in 1943 and 1944 respectively. We should never forget the sacrifice of the Todd brothers and their family, nor forget the sacrifice of the other brave soldiers who are interred there.
They were part of the Greatest Generation, which will never be replaced. Their service and sacrifice is beyond measure and will never be duplicated. As Mr. Shribman aptly pointed out, with over 200 WWII vets dying every day and only 100,000 remaining, it is imperative that we always remember and honor their dedication and sacrifice. Future generations would do well to bear this in mind forever.
We need to thank the Dutch people for “keeping their memories alive, one by one, row by row, year after year.” I am proud to be of Dutch heritage and a member of the Holland Society of New York, serving on its Board of Directors.
In closing, I want to say I am a native Lynner and an avid reader and subscriber to The Daily Item. Great commentary by Mr. Shribman.
Thomas P. Bogart
Commander of Lynnfield American Legion Post 131