CADS Lay Wreath on 65th Anniversary of the end of World War II

This year marks the 65th anniversary of the end of world War two. It was a great honour, therefore, to be once again invited by Malcolm Mason, chairman and honorary secretary of the Royal air forces Association, to lay a wreath at the annual remembrance ceremony at the 323rd Commonwealth and Allied War Graves at De Nieuwe Oosterbegraafsplaats in the east of Amsterdam.

It was well attended by members of the armed forces, local dignitaries, children from the local British school, members of the public and film crews from the local media. To make the ceremony very special they invited a bagpipe band and also organised a flypast.  The burgemeester of Amsterdam also attended the ceremony.

Virtually an entire generation has been able to live a reasonably peaceful and prosperous life in freedom, which was achieved by the sublime and heroic efforts of men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. As a representative of CADS, it was deeply gratifying to honour and not forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice. On a personal note, I also took the flying wings of my father, who was a war pilot in 60th Squadron based out in India, and said a small, private word of thanks to him. God rest his soul.

As usual, the children sang beautifully and then laid small crosses on the graves of those who fell from the skies over Holland.

Next year will be 2011. And on the 11th month of the 11th day of the 11th hour we will mark the 66th anniversary of the end of World War II. For you mathematicians that means everything is divisible by 11. I suggest, therefore, that 11 people from CADS attend the ceremony next year.