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.


  1. I was deeply disappointed with the absence of the consul general Hugo von Meijenfeldt even though a promise was made to me by him at the last Wapenbroeders 2014 Xmas party that he attended and I saw him again at the August 2nd Herdenking in the Bay Area and he told me that he would come. His honorary consul was absent as well. Various angry emails were exchanged by me to the consul telling him that I feel as the guilty one. Quite a few persons called and I talked to questioning the BLUNDER that the consulate made especially this our crown year 70 years of freedom. Father John Neiman was frustrated as well and he said the consul could have sent at least his secretary. It shows the INSENSIVITY from the CONSULATE who represents the Netherlands. It is a BLOODY SHAME. I demanded that he send an apology to the Dutch and Dutch-Indo community and it was placed in THE INDO TIJDSCHRIFT which will appear in the October, 2015 issue and also in THE INDO PROJECT. Peter and Wouter Wiersma, thank you so much for your comments.

  2. Editor’s note: In the process of releasing our new website, some of the comments were lost in transition so I’m re-copying a few here:

    August 27, 2015
    Peter Wiersma & Wouter Wiersma

    Kudos to the Committee 15 August 1945 and other organizers for putting together a touching Los Angeles Commemoration Ceremony. We participated to honor the wartime service and sacrifice of our fathers and many uncles who suffered as POWs under the brutality of Imperial Japan.

    One uncle was killed when his Hell Ship, Tamahoku Maru, transporting 750-800 POWs to Japan was torpedoed by the US submarine Tang. Another survived the Burma Railroad–now in his 90’s, he’s our only uncle still alive. One of our fathers survived building air strips on Flores where he was bayoneted in his back and an estimated 214 POWs were killed. He wrote about his Flores experience in a letter which the LA Times published July 23, 2000
    ( Yet another uncle spent the war as a POW laborer at a Mitsubishi plant in Japan.

    It’s unfortunate the Nederlandse Regering did not have a representative — official or unofficial — at the Los Angeles event. We did note that Consul General von Meijenfeldt participated in the August 2nd Commemoration in San Francisco. However, as far as we know there was not a representative — even an Honorary Consul — at the Los Angeles Commemoration to say a few words of thanks and acknowledgement for KNIL wartime service and sacrifice. Interestingly, the U.S. government saw fit to honor KNIL in brief remarks by Rex Kern, Director of the Los Angeles National Cemetery.

    If we missed the participation of a Dutch government representative in the Los Angeles Commemoration and misspoke, we stand corrected and apologize for our oversight.

  3. Editor’s note: In the process of releasing our new website, some of the comments were lost in transition so I’m re-copying a few here:

    August 27, 2015

    My uncle Dennis would-be very proud to see all the work that has been done.

  4. Editor’s note: In the process of releasing our new website, some of the comments were lost in transition so I’m re-copying a few here:

    Priscilla Kluge McMullen
    August 25, 2015

    Thanks to all for making the 2015 – 15 August Herdenking Ceremony possible. It must have taken a lot of work and I, an Indo living on the East Coast appreciate what the Indos in California have accomplished.

  5. English translation:
    Very good Jeff and thanks
    on behalf of the August 15, 1945 committee.

    P.S. Luke is my grandson

    heel goed jeff en dank
    namens de comitte 15 augustus 1945

    p.s luke is mijn kleinzoon

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