After getting back on the bus, I plopped down beside our veteran George Skerkowski. Looking me straight in the eye, he said "I have never been apart of anything like that before, and I don't think anyone here will ever be again."
He was right. Earlier in the week, our group and our four veterans were granted a special invitation to the burial of Private Albert Laubenstein, who had died 70 years ago after being killed in 1945. He was buried in the Canadian military cemetery of Bergen - Op - Zoom. The remains of the Saskatoon native had been found in June 2014, and he today, he would be buried with military honours among his fallen comrades. His name still remains on panel 10 of the missing soldiers in the Groesbeek cemetery - soon be removed.
It was an honour for us to be invited, not only to pay our respects to the family of Laubenstein who have flown out for the military burial - but to be able to see this beautiful, and small cemetery of 1,284 brave Canadians.
___________________________________________________________________ The Ceremony
^ Proud to see Frank Fordham & Ray Lewis used for the featured photograph in the CTV news coverage surrounding the extraordinary event. You can click on the picture to read CTV's full article.
A close up of Laubenstein's headstone and the wreath for him and his family. It's wonderful to see this commitment to a man who was lost over 70 years ago. >
^ Having our four boys standing in front of what will be Private Albert Laubenstein's head stone in preparation for his burial.
^ The family of Albert Laubenstein, along with the Lincoln & Wellend Regiment, of which private Laubenstein had been apart of - was kind enough to give our boys shade, keep them wam & comfortable, and place them in the closest seats to the memorial ceremony. Such hospitality made for a really lovely welcome.
^ I love this picture - I don't know what Bud is gesturing about - perhaps it's because we are just taking so many pictures of the four of them! What can I say, they are our heroes.
^ A wonderful group shot - I absolutely loved this picture too - as some of our group sit with our vets in the shade before the ceremony begins. From left to right: Sheila, Gordon, Bob, Oksana, Ray, George, Bud, & Frank.
^ I took part in the snuggling, by keeping Bud's legs warm.