Serendipity

2010, Photography

Sometimes unexpected things do happen. Last year I published a post about a Canadian War Cemetery near Groesbeek the Netherlands overlooking the German border region near the Rhine. A Canadian newspaper, who are working on a special coverage on the 65th commemoration of the liberation of the Netherlands, contacted me for one of these photographs.

A 78-year-old woman from London, Ontario, read the newspaper yesterday. When she saw the photograph and read the inscription on the grave of the soldier, she realised that it was her brother’s grave who died in Germany less than two months before the war in Europe ended.

65 years have passed, we take our freedom for granted, and while the numbers of lives lost in the war were earth-shattering, it makes me realize that all of them should not be forgotten. Not of Corporal L.A. McIntosh, private L.F. Pringlemeir, rifleman R.J. Mc Donald, and many of their brothers.

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma

Response

2009, Photography

I feel free to express myself and I enjoy the privileges and joy’s of the freedom and peace I live in.  Growing up in the Netherlands I learned my country as an open minded and liberal society. Article one in the Dutch constitution mentions:

Equality before the law and prohibition of discrimination

This article forbids any discrimination on any ground but allows affirmative action. The right is absolute and cannot be limited by law.

I am concerned though by the increasing tendencies to populism in Europe, and the Netherlands is unfortunately no exception in my opinion. That is also why I published the previous post. I am amazed and shocked when I am accused of being ignorant and not willing to open my eyes, because that is how I felt after this.  I don’t want to see the future of our children being destroyed like what happened to the futures of children during World War II, Rwanda, or in former Yugoslavia.

So I leave with this as my response and remembrance.

Remember the past