Bastogne 70th Anniversary – NUTS Weekend
December 23, 2014 joedemadio 0 Comments
From Friday December 12th till Sunday December 14th the Bastogne 70th Anniversary took place!
Because I had university on Friday we left very early on Saturday. In Bastogne I would meet up with a long-time subscriber Ben. Then Ben and I went to visit Ian Gardner in the 101st Airborne Museum “Le Mess”. There he was accompanied by Robin Sink (Daughter of Colonel Sink), Bob Izumi (506th PIR, G Co.) and Gene Gilbreath (506th PIR). Ian had invited me two months before to go on a special tour for his new book No Victory In Valhalla, which would take place on Sunday the next day! I had a talk with him and I met with Reg Jans, Ian’s partner during the tour.
After talking with Robin Sink she gave me a very special dog tag of the 506th PIR. I felt very honored and privileged to meet all the amazing people that day. Bob Izumi even joked that he couldn’t write when I asked him to sign my cards.
What added more to the feeling was the snow! As soon as we neared Bastogne on Saturday morning it started snowing and Bastogne turned all white. I kept wondering if it looked the same as in December 1944. After the meet-up with Ian we went to see the veterans parade through the main street of Bastogne. We also visited the Bastogne Barracks which I had never seen before. In the evening we made a visit to the Band of Brothers monument near Foy. It was a special view to see the monument covered with snow and white fields behind it.
The second day was the NVIV tour with Ian Gardner en Reg Jans. I simply can’t express in words how interesting and amazing this day has been. Everytime I watch pictures and videos of the tour, a smile forms on my face. We’ve heard so many stories and facts that everything came alive. The snow, the battlefields, the foxholes, the stories, from Recogne to Foy to the Bois Jacques, it was all perfect! We had such an amazing group of people as well.
I had a talk and exchanged cards with the owner of WarHistoryOnline and with Battlefield Detective Agency. I took a picture with Ian Gardner and Reg Jans at the end of the tour. Reg Jans even did a shout out to my Youtube channel. I will leave you with pictures and a video of all the stories. This weekend was one of the best weekends of my life! I highly suggest you to read Ian Gardner’s No Victory In Valhalla and if you’re ever looking for a guide to tour you around the battlefields of Battle of the Bulge or Bastogne, check out Reg Jans!