The First World War

28 June 1914 – 11 November 1918

============100 Year Anniversary==============

A WW2 tribute: About six miles from Maastricht, in the Netherlands, lie buried 8,301 American soldiers who died in “Operation Market Garden” in the battles to
liberate Holland in the fall and winter of 1944-5.

Every one of the men
buried in the cemetery, as well as those in the Canadian and British
military cemeteries, has been adopted by a Dutch family who mind the grave,
decorate it, and keep alive the memory of the soldier they have adopted.  It
is even the custom to keep a portrait of “their” Allied soldier in a place
of honor in their home.  Annually, on “Liberation Day,” memorial services
are held for “the men who died to liberate Holland.” The day concludes with
a concert.  The final piece is always “Il Silenzio,” a memorial piece
commissioned by the Dutch and first played in 1965 on the 20th anniversary
of Holland’s liberation. It has been the concluding piece of the memorial
concert ever since.

This year (2008) the soloist was a 13-year-old Dutch girl, Melissa Venema, backed
by André Rieu and his orchestra (the Royal Orchestra of the Netherlands).
This beautiful concert piece is based upon the original version of taps and
was composed by Italian composer Nino Rossi.


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