Last week I was at Margraten War Cemetery with a school excursion. We walked through the cemetery and saw the 8000 white crosses and I thought about the persons behind those crosses. The persons like John R. Nofsinger Jr. He was only 21 when he enlisted for a war that wasn’t his. I don’t know him, nor the people he left behind. But he also didn’t know me, nor my grandparents. I doubt he knew a lot about the countries he fought in, but still he came here to fight for our freedom.
When I had these thoughts, I asked my pupils what they would do if there would be a war somewhere else. Would they enlist and fight? And what would I do? Would I risk it all and give up my normal live? I don’t know… I really don’t. But I’m glad there are people like John who did, who came here to fight, and even die, for the freedom of people who they didn’t know. For my freedom.
It’s good to visit places like this every once in a while to commemorate the people who died for our freedom. And it was also good to bring a new generation to this place and to see the pupils being really impressed.