News Articles

Indies veterans saluted by missing man formation

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

ROERMOND – “The veterans of the campaigns in the Dutch East Indies received very little recognition for their efforts abroad when they at long last arrived home. There was no enthusiastic welcome. Everyone was busy with rebuilding the country and trying to deal with their personal war experiences. Concepts such as grief counseling and trauma guidance were unknown in those times. There was hardly an understanding ear to be found.” Tens of thousands of veterans and their families, who gathered recently at the Roermond Indies veterans’ memorial, heard many of their grievances - freely translated - verbalized by none other than Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Verhagen. The 1940s soldiers served their country in a large-scale campaign, which claimed 6,200 lives, the majority between 1945 and 1950. Over one hundred wreaths were laid during the ceremony. The veterans were saluted by four F-16 fighters, which flew over in a missing man formation.