By USAG Benelux Public AffairsDecember 22, 2017
CHIÈVRES, Belgium -- U.S. Army Benelux Public Affairs asked people who attended the Battle of the Bugle's 73rd anniversary events what Bastogne means to them.
Air Force Capt. Mathew Beeman
From Kaiserslautern, Germany
"It means to remember the fight and what the Soldiers went through to fight for the freedom of this city. Bastogne is a symbol that the war is going to end, and this was the last stand for both sides."
Boy Scout in Troop 69 in Kaiserslautern, Germany
"It means that we are honoring the Soldiers who fought for us during the Battle of the Bulge. We all come together to honor them here. It's something you want to see if you live here in Europe."
Guide in Bastogne
"I'm from Bastogne. I am a witness of the Battle of the Bulge. I was 9 years old and was living in Houffalize. I would never miss one of those commemorations. Moreover, this year where the commemoration falls on the exact date of the Battle: December 16. Nowadays not many people know what it is to be occupied. It is my duty of remembrance."
"For me, coming to Bastogne is a family story because my grandfather fought in the Battle of the Bulge. I will never thank the Americans enough for our freedom. For me, the Americans are part of my family."
Freshman at Stuttgart High School, Germany
"It means to honor the veterans that served here, because this is a very important place. It was a decisive place for the U.S. Army and its allies. It's a learning place. I learned a lot about what the Soldiers did here and how hard and harsh the conditions were, and the meaning of the Airborne."
American Legion Post NL01
"Coming to Bastogne is an honor and a privilege, especially when you see the foxholes and monuments. You see the sacrifice that these brave heroes gave to their country. The 101st Airborne displayed great fortitude and courage during their successful defense of Bastogne. I think it shows the finest characteristics of the American Soldier."
Dominique Legai & Catherine Hermée
"Bastogne is an important moment to remember and pay respect to those who came here to fight. We don't want to forget them. We also enjoy coming here and meeting those who have the same passion than us for reenacting. We travel from Normandy to Germany to thank the US Army through those commemorations."
Army Spc. Douglas Lanning
Headquarters and Headquarters Company USAG Benelux
Rifleman in the Color Guard
"It was an eye-opening experience to see the effects of World War II on service members of each military as well as the children and civilians within the country.It's an honor to be a part of the memorial parade and to be here in Bastogne."