Speech (Interpreted) by Mr. Camille
P. Kohn, President of CEBA (Cercle D'Etudes Sur
La Bataille Des Ardennes) on May 25, 1998, to
members of the 35th U.S. Infantry Division at
Dear veterans, ladies and gentlemen,
First of all I would like to express my sincere
thanks to Mayor Blasius and his staff, for the
memorable ceremony at the 35th Infantry Division
Memorial and finally for the warm reception given
to you today in this town, which was liberated
by you. Let me tell you that this monument was
erected and inaugurated in 1976. It should help
to assure that the sacrifices of the 35th Inf.
Div. will not be forgotten in the centuries ahead!
Anyhow, at that time Mr. Blasius was already Mayor
of this town. This may be the third reception
that the municipality of Boulaide has given to
vets of the Santa Fe Division. In this small Luxembourg
village you have the right to feel at home! So
far only a few important remarks.
Dear veterans and veterans' families, as President,
and on behalf of CEBA, I'd like to thank you so
much for coming to Luxembourg. Only by this way
are we able to express our deep admiration and
affection to all of you. But words can't express
our feelings to you even more than 53 years after
the hellish period of the odious BoB, on which
you men had to take part. We haven't forgotten
that probably you lived the worst weeks of your
lives here in this area, which you men made so
peaceful again after your heroic achievements.
On the 27th December 1944 you conquered three
villages in our country. They are: Boulaide, Baschleiden
and Surre. At Surre your 137th Regiment met an
obstinate resistance and only after a hard struggle
was it able to capture the town. Also your 320th
Regiment ran into considerable difficulties in
capturing this town and the neighboring town of
Baschleiden. Let's not forget to mention the frightful
conditions of weather you were forced to endure.
What you men, you survivors, lived through by
conquering the Belgian villages of Lutrebois and
Villers-la-Bonne-Eau, not far from here, would
be hard to nearly describe!
Nevertheless we know very well that you suffered
the tortures of hell there. Roughly, elements
of three German Divisions, the Panzer-Lehr Division,
the 1st SS Panzer. Division., and the 167 VGD
(Volksgrenadier), had attacked the Santa Fe's
but had been beaten off. This became a bloody,
but also a brilliant page in the history of the
famous Harry Truman Division. To date, it is yet
so impressive and almost incredible, that the
137th Regiment fought about 13 days, two weeks,
before it battered down the fierce enemy defenses
of Villers-la-Bonne-Eau. Unfortunately, the companies
K and L, 3rd Battalion, 137th Infantry were lost
there. It is so revealing that it took five days
of constant assaults by the 134th Regiment to
capture Lutrebois. It is hard to believe, that
the Luxembourg village of Harlange was held by
the Germans till the 10th January 1945, even though
the 320th put extreme pressure on it since the
3rd January 1945. Finally Harlange was conquered
the 10th January 1945 by the 28th Cav Rec Sq of
the 6th Cav Group. Only these facts bear witness
enough of the relentless combats in this area.
Dear veterans, allow me just a few closing remarks:
The Luxembourg people are fully aware of the peace
and the independence we owe to the great nation
you belong to. We are deeply indebted to the United
States, for having restored liberty in Luxembourg
and all over in Europe by her valiant soldiers.
This will never be forgotten here and on each
occasion, we like to revive our deep thanks to
our American liberators and to keep alive the
flame of remembrance of the dreadful scene of
horror the BoB was and you men have lived through
a long time ago. The recollection of thousands
and again thousands of lovely GI's in Luxembourg
during the years 1944-45 will never fade away!
Thank you, dear friends from overseas, representing
a great nation, that defends almost everywhere
in the world freedom and peace. And thank You
for fighting to prevent any new tyrant coming
up. When back to the States, please convey the
Mayor's and this message of gratitude and let
all the Americans, at least all your acquaintances
know what and how we feel and that we will be
thankful forever. Your achievements are eternalized!
God bless you!