Let say something about us:
My name is Bob Konings, born in 1970 and have thus “missed” the whole Battle of the Bulge.
My interest in the Second World War started at the moment that I moved form Roosendaal (The Netherlands) to the hamlet, named Grandmenil.
After a few years, working as a social worker and the last six years as a teacher, me and the famlily decided that it was time for a big change in our live.
On June 29, 2008 I moved with my family to Grandmenil and actually ended up on a historic site, which is hard fought.
Since then I searched the Internet for information, strolled on the battle fields, talked to veterans, children of veterans and civilians about the battle of the bulge.
The battle of the Ardennes has a very important and very special place in my life. Researching and looking for clues costs a big amount of time and I’m grateful that I have a wife and two sons, who fully understand the importance of my work.
My name is Marco, I live in a town called Best in the Netherlands. I’m a Lieutenant with the Dutch police.
About 3 or 4 years ago I got in contact with Bob Konings through the internet and soon found out that Bob had a great knowledge and passion concerning the battle of Grandmenil. His way of exploring history, being involved with US veterans and their familymembers soon got a hold on me. Bob and I have spent many, many hours on the battlefields of the Ardennes. We spent a lot of time with veterans, men like Joe Cicchinelli, scout with the 551st Parachute Infantry Battalion, and next of kin of the GI’s who made the ulitmate sacrifice for our freedom.
One event particular of the battle of the Bulge is always on our mind, and that’s the massacre of Ottré. The last 3 years we spent so much time investigating this event and I can tell you, it’s not been easy. People always ask me: “why do you spent so much time on this part of history?”. For me the aswer is simple, without these men our freedom today would be quit different. These GI’s should never be forgotten and should always be honored for what they did for our freedom.
There are a lot of people who are involved with the remembrance of Second World War, and to be honest, there are people who are in it for their own benefit. I consider myself lucky that Bob is one of my best friends, a friend that has his “remembrance heart” on the right spot.
I want to end with a few phrases that my friend and WWII veteran Joe Cicchinelli once wrote down on a small peice of paper, during one of our long talks in the middle of the night when Joe was staying in my house:
Many people see, but are blind. Many people hear but words goes in one ear and out the other. Many people speak, but they hear only their own voice. Many people feel, but only their own heart.
Seeing, hearing, feelings and speaking are the words of life.
Today you see me and know me as a veteran. Veterans days are over. Now and for many years I am trying to be human with deep feelings and dignity. Past is no more………
May we never forget….
A proud member of the Team.