Cycle Tour of Freedom


Over 200 people gathered in
the town of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, among them many children. They came to cycle and to honour
the 53rd Welsh Infantry Division, which liberated the city
from the Nazi occupation. but first buses arrived to pick up
the people and their bicycles. They were brought to
the town of Vinkel, about 20 km from ‘s-Hertogenbosch, but still in the same municipality. There, flags were flying in anticipation. Vinkel would be the starting point
of a 22 km long cycle tour. But first people were offered a lunch
with music. and a welcoming word of the mayor. Welsh singer Llio Evans sang
some songs for the occasion. She even sang in Dutch! But then it was time to cycle the route
the liberators took to free the city in WWII. The tour started in the village of Vinkel where the bells were ringing as they would
in every town the parade passed. With a band in an open bus and
the mayor in a jeep behind them… the cycle parade moved on to
the next village called Geffen. An elderly gentleman – a Welshman who has lived
in ‘s-Hertogenbosch for years – was proudly wearing the Welsh flag. Also in Geffen people waived, sometimes
with flags and church bells were ringing. The route was carefully chosen to pass
some homes for the elderly. People who experienced World War II themselves. Next on the tour was the
village of Nuland. In the cycle parade 146 people
(mostly children) wore a green cap; one for every fallen soldier. It was an impressive sight to see
that abstract number… meaning so much more when it was
represented by real people. Thanks to a loop in the route… it was possible to see
the beginning of the parade. Onwards to Hintham, where the Welsh Division had to fight hard to conquer every single house. A history that the current residents
are very well aware of. They put up large pictures of their
houses in ruins right after the battle. Now the cheerful parade arrived
in ‘s-Hertogenbosch proper, and it passed another home for the elderly. The end of the route was at the main square
next to the cathedral. This marked the end the cycle parade
but not of the festivities. Especially the children did
a really great job, cycling this entire historic route. 22 km that were so crucial
in the last week of October 1944. It took them six days. Six days of fighting. And six days of sorrow. Because many people died. In total 146 boys from Wales lost their lives for our freedom here in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Something to commemorate. Not only for what happened then, but also for what it means to us today. The mayor then asked everyone with a green cap
to come to him. He gave them all a medal as a thank you
for representing one of the fallen Welsh men. To end the commemorative festivities
for that day, Freedom was then celebrated in a concert.

11 thoughts on “Cycle Tour of Freedom

  • That was awesome I meant people in the nursing home that has fought in World War II I have a great great grandfather that I have not seen when I was born that has fought in World War II I wish I could have met him but passed away a long time ago before I was even born

  • But I give my life in my heart and soul to those people it has fought for our freedom and also fought for y'all's freedom we have fought together in battle to get freedom for both of our countries we have fought alongside with other people to help and give hope to others

  • We are strong and we stand for Freedom you guys are strong and y'all stand for freedom let's not forget the memories of people that has fought for our freedoms and let's not forget that we have fought together along side to side hand-to-hand strength and courage no fear whatsoever to fight for our freedoms and show that we would never back down from challenges or fear we are strong and we stand for our freedom

  • I thank you all for fighting with us and I thank you to those soldiers and the people that fought with us in the battle and I thank you to those soldiers I salute all of you guys for our freedom and I salute the people that didn't make it home they gave their lives to fight for our freedom also to give us another day to live free without any threats I thank God for letting us live another day when we wake up to have fun riding our bikes and being safe on the road thank you God and thank you the people that has fought with us I salute you all thank you

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