This past April 26, 2019, fifty Dutch UNIFIL Veterans attended a ceremony at the US Embassy in Beirut. The two Dutch UNIFIL persons who laid the wreath at the monument, Jan Holwerda and Freerk Mossel, were stationed in Beirut at the moment of the bombing and witnessed the aftermath.
Included are some words from Chris Laarhoven the Chairman of Foundation Reunion with Lebanon:
Since 2005 the foundation “Weerzien met Libanon” (Reunion with Lebanon) organizes return trips to see what has become of ‘our’ former area of deployment, to meet old and new local friends and to commemorate our fallen comrades together with local authorities, our Embassy, the Dutch Defense Force, and UNIFIL.
Three years ago it came to my mind to not only commemorate our fallen servicemen, but also to commemorate our US, French, British, and Italian comrades because we served the same cause in different named missions but with the same goal.
After mailing Myron Kyle, who was of great help, I joined your impressive commemoration in Jacksonville and met some great people in Philadelphia.
Since then we started to commemorate our fallen comrade servicemen of the US and the French at their monuments on the premises of the Embassy’s.
We are now trying to get in contact with the British and the Italian who served in the Multi-National Force.
We are also looking forward to meeting you again at your annual commemoration in Jacksonville with a few of our board members, and in the future to have a few of the Beirut Veterans attend our National Veterans Day in The Hague.
- Chris Laarhoven
To see the letter from Mr. Laarhoven to the Ambassador please follow the link to the Reunion with Lebanon website:
Attached is the speech given by Chaplain Bart Hetebrij