DA Global Veterans & Military Families Caucus Leadership:
MARGRATEN ON MEMORIAL DAY AND EVERY DAY
By Roberta Enschede, DA The Netherlands
“If ever proof were needed that we fought for a cause and not for conquest,
it could be found in these cemeteries. Here was our only conquest:
all we asked ....was enough.....soil in which to bury our gallant dead.”
Lt. Gen. Mark W. Clark
Sadly, this year like last, there can be no public ceremony at Margraten on Memorial Day. The thousands of people - grandparents, parents, children, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, veterans who come year after year will not be there to put a flower or a bouquet on the grave of “their soldier” or a handful of pebbles on a white marble Star of David.
Yet, even though they can’t be there, their memories and thoughts, like mine, will be in the rolling land of Limburg where we “buried our gallant dead.” Perhaps they’ll tell friends a story about “their soldier,” the young hero the family adopted. Perhaps they’ll say a prayer or look at a book of old photos. Maybe they’ll think about how they felt when they had the privilege to lay a wreath during the Memorial Day Ceremony. Maybe they’ll remember when they were Scouts and walked around and placed a Dutch and American flag in front of each grave.
The more you go to Margraten, the more meaningful it becomes. When I’m there, I always stop at the grave of Robert van Klinken. He was a young soldier whose parents were Dutch immigrants and who died in the land of their birth. I visit the grave of Willie James, an African-American soldier who posthumously was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama. I walk over to the grave of Major General Maurice Rose, the highest ranking soldier buried in Margraten and the most decorated.
Before I leave, I find some of the graves of the Timberwolves - the 104th Infantry. I was fortunate enough to get to know some of their comrades who made it out of the war and made a point of returning to Margraten for as long as they were able to travel. My Timberwolf friends are all gone now - those funny, feisty, smart, wise, courageous men. I could always feel how they cared for each other. Sometimes, they acted like teenagers who won a ballgame, slapping and laughing. Sometimes, I could feel their sadness and I knew they were asking themselves: why was I lucky? Why is he here and not me? One fellow, a jeweler from LA, would say, “Margraten, that’s my church.” Another tall lanky gentleman, an architect from Kansas, would amble over to the graves of his comrades and come back with tears filling his eyes. He’d tell his soldier buddies, “I said hello.”
I would stand to the side and just watch and listen. They were in a world only another soldier could understand.
The ancient words of Pericles are carved in the white marble of Margraten. They are especially fitting this year when we are only able to be there in our thoughts and memories.
"EACH FOR HIS OWN MEMORIAL EARNED
PRAISE THAT WILL NEVER DIE AND WITH
IT THE GRANDEST OF ALL SEPULCHRES
NOT THAT IN WHICH HIS MORTAL BONES
ARE LAID BUT A HOME IN THE MINDS OF MEN."
Vol. 1, No. 3
Greetings from the Co-Editor
Nearly 15% of the attempted insurrectionists on January 6 were veterans. Research is consistently indicating that the primary driver for those insurrectionists was fear of the “great replacement,” the belief that the rights of minorities will “overtake” that of Whites. One study by Chicago’s Project on Security and Threats found that for every 1% decline in a county’s White non-Hispanic population over a 5-year period, the county was 6 times more likely to send at least one insurrectionist.
- The ingredients currently exist for future political violence.
- We need a thorough bipartisan investigation into the insurrection, including how it was possible that there was a 58 to 1 ratio of rioters to Capitol Police officers, and why 78 requests for backup were denied or ignored.
- FBI, National Guard, mayors, law enforcement, the CIA, etc. need better intelligence, communications, and sounder risk analysis of right-wing extremist groups in America.
- Research is needed to assess the extent radicalization occurs before, during, or after military service and police training.
Democratically yours, Bob Gould
Washington Post 4/6/21 What an analysis of Capitol insurrections tells us Here
Chicago’s Project on Security and Threats (CPOST) Here
Washington Post 4/15/21 Police at the Capitol Severely Disadvantaged Here
The Nation 4/7/21 The US Military Is an Extremism Incubator Here