Sunday, October 21, 2012

Celebrating America in The Netherlands

While these pictures may look like something straight out of the history books, they were actually taken last month when we visited a castle to watch a World War II reenactment. September 17th is a day that Eindhoven commemorates the American paratroopers landing in Eindhoven during WWII. The planes missed their original landing site and actually landed at Kasteel Heeswijk, so each year around the anniversary of the landing the Dutch celebrate this turn in the war by doing a reenactment for all to see. Keith, Liam, and I went to see the parachuters drop out of airplanes, which originally was supposed to happen at 2 pm but didn't happen until 4 pm. In the meantime we hung out with friends, walking the grounds around the castle, and then excitedly listened for the plane flying overhead.

Liam had a great time practicing his walking and chasing the big kids around while we waited for the parachuters. We started to hear the buzz of the airplane, frantically searching the skies until it finally appeared. The old plane looked exactly how I would imagine . . .

After circling the field a few times and dropping a flagged weight (to check wind speed and direction), the parachuters finally began to jump out . . .

Don't they look like the little green army men kids play with??
It was so cool to see them, one by one, float through the sky and land easily on their feet upon landing. They would then quickly gather their 'chutes and run crouching through the field, as if truly hiding from the enemy. The plane actually made three more drops of parachuters, with the very last parachuter flying an American flag on his descent. The crowd erupted into cheers, and it was really something spectacular. At that moment I felt so proud of our troops. It's amazing to think that living overseas we would witness something so patriotic -- feeling very thankful that we got to experience it so far from home. : )

Proud to be an American!

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