Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Ceremony in Loosdrecht -- 1949

Some time ago I came across a series of old photos of a military ceremony in my grandmother's hometown, Loosdrecht, Netherlands. Although they were not in attendance, this was a very personal ceremony for Grandma and Grandpa VandenBergh  --  the reburial of their son Jasper, born in Albany, and who with his elder brother Jacob, fought as an American soldier during World War II.

Unlike his elder brother, Jasper never came home. He was killed at the Battle of the Bulge and originally buried near there. After the war, the family decided that it would be more appropriate for his remains to be repatriated  -- not to America, but to Grandma's hometown of Loosdrecht. In a somber ceremony attended by local dignitaries, members of both Grandma and Grandpa's extended families, and other villagers, Jasper was laid to rest in the Loosdrecht-Rading Cemetery. Mom carefully preserved the photos, along with Jasper's Purple Heart. I thought it appropriate to post the photos today, which is Veterans Day in the United States.

Led by the Dutch Commandant, the cortege enters the cemetery

The cortege approaches the grave site

The Dutch Officer Speaks

The Dominie (Pastor) reads from the Bible

Jasper's cousins, aunts, and uncles gathered around the grave site

An official lays flowers at the grave

An official of the Dutch War Cemetery Committee lays a wreath

A salute by the Dutch Navy honor guard

The casket is lowered into the grave

Jasper's uncle (also named Jasper) thanks the attendees for coming

During my trip to the Netherlands last year, I made a point to visit Jasper's grave site  --  the uncle I never knew. Read more about that occasion at the earlier post entitled "Uncle Jasper."


  1. I would like to include Jasper on my website. See it at -Rob

  2. I would like to include Jasper on my website. Please see and contact me. -Rob

  3. Thank you Rob, that would be ok. You can find some additional information about my Uncle Jasper on this blog, at a post entitled "Uncle Jasper."