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Thursday, July 30, 2015
The Paper photo by Karen Zach <br>
Martijn van Haren (left) and The Paper editor Scotty Cameron (right) stand in front of a photo of van Haren and his family after having decorated Vernon Eugene Chadwick’s grave at the American Cemetery in Henri-Chapelle, Liège, Belgium.
The Paper photo by Karen Zach
Martijn van Haren (left) and The Paper editor Scotty Cameron (right) stand in front of a photo of van Haren and his family after having decorated Vernon Eugene Chadwick’s grave at the American Cemetery in Henri-Chapelle, Liège, Belgium.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015 11:42 PM

How many of you visit your family members’ graves on a holiday or Memorial Day? It’s sometimes quite a touching experience. Martijn van Haren visits 25 U.S. Soldier and Sailor’s graves in his own country of Holland and neighboring Belgium and noted that he has had several touching moments.

Van Haren spent a great deal of time listening to his grandparents tell of WWII experiences. Once, his grandmother was so hungry, she walked for three days to a farming area where she was able to obtain some home-grown food. At one point, his grandmother ate flower bulbs and became pretty good at creating flower dishes. His grandfather was conscripted into service for the Germans and hated it. In later years, van Haren met with some soldiers and decided afterwards that helping decorate the graves of those left in the area whose parents, brothers and sisters would never be able to visit would be a good thing to do. Even with 25 graves, he says he wishes he could do more. 

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