On Saturday August 15th the Commemoration Ceremony in Los Angeles was opened by Sandra van Lommel Ly – Master of Ceremony. Followed by the invocation by Father Edwin Duyshart. Auke Mensink, President of the Committee 15 augustus 1945, gave a word of welcome, thanking the different organizations present. The Director of the LA National Cemetery, Rex Kern addressed the audience briefly. Jim Douwes, President of the NESO in SF gave some words of Remembrance. The commemoration ceremony is organized under auspice of the committee of the Netherlands Veterans Organization, Bond van Wapenbroeders (bond of brothers in arms).
Entrance of The Honor Guard.
The Choir consisted of: Bert Been, Ingrid & Theo Engelbert, Ivonne Gerrits, Leslie Hudson, Hank & Sandra Ly, Auke & Greet Mensink, Regina Poepaart, An Schoew, Jeane & Theo Smeets, Fredje van der Horst, Emy van Lommel, Sylvia van Loon en Sophia van Wijk.
The Indo Project was represented by Jamie Stern & Jeff Keasberry, who laid the wreath on behalf of the Indo Project for the first time.
Even though the number of WWII veterans is decreasing (either deceased or not able to make it to the ceremonies), we did notice younger people bringing their families to pay their respect. After the wreath ceremonies, a floral tribute was given to the plaque “De Geest Overwint”; In dedication to the memory of members of the armed forces, resistance fighters and civilians who lost their lives in the Netherlands East Indies and areas of southeast asia, during World War II. May they never be forgotten.
Photo: WWII veterans and Honor Guards, from left to right: Arteur Dirksen, Hans Doppert, Ben Clerks.