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Herdenking  SHARK 1944; 24.12.2013

Ladies en Gentlemen

It’s a special occasion today, 69 years after, so to say a day of commemoration and a day of reflection, a day of sorrow and a day of joy.

Because of course we think about the losses of the lives of probably most of the young guys who celebrated Christmas here 69 years ago.
We think also about the 69 years of peace that started shortly after their heroic actions in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany in the newly shaped world after World War 2.
We fought in a different way, not with men in the field but with men at the table, countless meetings between leaders of the so called free world, countless discussions on television and in the national parliaments, millions of words, in stead of all the swords and the guns in two wars on the continent last century. Let us commemorate the guys who stayed here and let us celebrate the words that helped us to bridge differences.

And let us thank the brothers of the Beyard who were so kind to invite the guys here in the cave to be together: Americans, Germans, to use words already then to bridge differences. The brothers showed in that night, 69 years ago, that religion can build bridges instead of separating people.

Let’s think about that in the coming days, in your face you see a proud mayor.

Thank you.

onno hoes

Onno Hoes
Mayor of the city Maastricht from 1.11.2010 to 30.6.2015