Monday, November 22, 2010

Family in Sint-Niklaas

Three Generations + Anthony
After spending the night in Bruges we continued our journey to our final destination and the real reason we went to Belgium; to visit the gravesite of my great uncle, Bob, who perished in World War Two. He was the Air Bomber in a Lancaster which crashed near Sint-Niklaas killing the entire crew. We were also in Belgium to meet the family who tended the graves which had fallen into neglect years ago.. . We met Anthony and Rieke at their home in Sint-Niklaas. Anthony’s mother discovered the neglected war graves of the Sint-Niklaas cemetery and tended to them for many years before the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) recognized their responsibilities.

We arrived in Sint-Niklaas for a wonderful lunch at Anthony and his wife Rieke’s home. After getting acquainted and looking over family photos we enjoyed a fabulous traditional Belgian dish of endives wrapped in ham and covered in cheese sauce. Délicieux!

To see a recipe click here. I made my own imitation last night, and even though Andre isn’t particular to endives he admitted it was very good.

After some coffee, cookies, and more Belgian chocolate we drove to the cemetery. We were all very moved by the care and attention the CWGC and the city dedicates to the small row of mostly Canadian war graves. I have seen many such grave markers since arriving in France, and it was very different to see one that belonged to a family member, who although I never met, meant a great deal to those I love.

We are forever grateful to Anthony, his mother, and Rieke. There are no words to describe how much their care has meant to my family. Thank you for your hospitality and compassion.

1 comment:

  1. made me cry...very touching and how wonderful that you experienced that with your grandmom and mom.