Tour of Remembrance
Saturday 2 October is the big day--- the centerpiece of the tour. The
weather is great. The Rhine River glistens and shines from the sun and, perhaps
to a greater degree, our own colored glasses. We move to the ceremony
area and, as we do, many reflect on the great difference between this day
and one September long ago.
Memories are sharp and some are deep in thoughts of that time and place. The
U.S. 1st Armored Division has gone all out to make this an unforgettable day, every
sort of facility is provided for these elderly veterans. Also the
German 5th Panzer Division has done its share. Along with the Americans, German
soldiers are here to pay their respects to those who fought and
died here---on both sides.
The band plays both National Anthems. The troops with their precise movements and
the snap of their weapons show their respect for what transpired here.
Wreaths are presented to honor both Americans and Germans, for those who
fought and also those civilians who were victims of the battle.
The ceremony over, we adjourned to the Castle Rheinfels where all enjoyed
a fine lunch as well as a magnificent view of the river, an almost perfect
lookout for our crossing points. Again we exchange gifts, words of
praise and reflections of what we did at this small German town.
Then we cross the river to the east bank---a much different trip than that in
1945--- dip two wreaths in the water---one to go to our 2000 Reunion
at Tacoma and the other to West Point and the grave of General
Thomas D. Finley. That night we spend a quiet night in Wiesbaden.
American Honor Guard
German Honor Guard
Mayor of St. Goar presents a wreath
View of the River where the division crossed
View of the Rhine
Castle where the veterans ate lunch
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