December 9-11, 2022
78th Anniversary of
the Battle of the Bulge
On December 16th, exactly 78 years ago, the Battle of the Bulge began. Although much time has passed since these events, the Belgian Ardennes continue to attract veterans, their families, as well as history enthusiasts and re-enactors. They all come with one goal: to never forget.
This year an unofficial two-person delegation of our group also made its way to the anniversary celebrations in Manhay, Belgium. Although we did not present our own display, we decided to stay overnight at the U.S. camp. Our tent grew right next to the church, where one could admire the splendid medical installation prepared by Airborne Medical Reenactment Group.
The days and nights were freezing, although there was little snow. Nevertheless, field life in such conditions taught us a lot about what nurses must have experienced during the war. The endurance and determination of these women is truly admirable, as is the spirit of all the young boys on the front lines who had to spend that terrible winter in the foxholes.
In Manhay, we spent our time mostly in long conversations with friends, searching for new treasures at the militaria market, and dancing to 1940s hits in the evenings. We also witnessed a mock battle. On Sunday, on the other hand, we went to Bastogne to meet WWII veterans. Present at the Bastogne War Museum were:
Vincent "Vince" J. Speranza (101st Airborne Division)
John Burke (97th Infantry Division)
Ed Cottrell (48th Fighter Group, 9th Air Force)
Bob Moran (2nd Infantry Division)
Cletis Bailey (84th Infantry Division)
Harper Coleman (4th Infantry Division)
On the last day, we visited the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial, where four women are buried: two flight nurses, one American Red Cross worker and one U.S. Public Health Service worker. Over 8,000 white crosses and Stars of David reminded us why we do what we do and why it's important to remember history.
We invite you to take a look at some photos from the trip.