Least We Forget – Il Silenzio – The Original ‘TAPS’


Maastricht Netherlands

Memorial Day 2015 !!!

How easy we forget the sacrifices we ourselves have paid for; the freedoms and liberty we claim to love and admire so much!

The following is an article concerning a small country WE helped liberate from tyranny in World War II and the sacrifices WE paid to provide these people with exactly the same thing we claim to cherish today and I ask you to please note the difference in the amount of respect each country pays to those sacrifices. In Maastricht in the Netherlands it is not just a picnic and party!

About six miles from Maastricht lie buried 8,301 American soldiers who died in “Operation Market Garden” in the battles to liberate Holland in the fall/winter of 1944 near the end of World War II.

Every one of the men buried in the cemetery, as well as those in the Canadian and British military cemeteries, has been adopted by a Dutch family who mind the grave, decorate it, and keep alive the memory of the soldier they have adopted. It is even the custom for these families to keep a portrait of “their” American soldier in a place of honor in their home.

Annually, on “Liberation Day,” (twin to our Memorial Day), services are held for “the men who died to liberate Holland.” The day concludes with a concert and the final piece is always “Il Silenzio,” a memorial piece commissioned by the Dutch and first played in 1965 on the 20th anniversary of Holland’s liberation. It has been the concluding piece of the memorial concert ever since.

Recently, the soloist was a 13-year-old Dutch girl, Melissa Venema, backed by Andre Rieu and his orchestra (the Royal Orchestra of the Netherlands). This beautiful concert piece is based upon the ‘original version of taps’ and was composed by Italian composer Nino Rossi.

As we ‘picnic’ and ‘party’ this weekend, are you taking at least one short moment out of the party to honor those who paid the price allowing you to do just that?

How many 13-year-olds in America today fully understand the history and the sacrifice of our freedom? This young lady seems to! You may listen to young Melissa Venema’s performance here…it is quite moving:


Just to ponder:

The American Cemetery at Aisne-Marne, France…2,289
The American Cemetery at Ardennes, Belgium…5,329
The American Cemetery at Brittany, France…4,410
The American Cemetery at Brookwood, England…468
The American Cemetery at Cambridge, England…3,812
The American Cemetery at Epinal, France…5,525
The American Cemetery at Flanders Field, Belgium…368
The American Cemetery at Florence, Italy…4,402
The American Cemetery at Henri-Chapelle, Belgium…7,992
The American Cemetery at Lorraine, France…10,428
The American Cemetery at Luxembourg…5,076
The American Cemetery at Meuse-Argonne…14,246
The American Cemetery at Maastricht, Netherlands…8,301
The American Cemetery at Normandy, France…9,387
The American Cemetery at Oise-Aisne, France…6,012
The American Cemetery at Rhone, France…861
The American Cemetery at Sicily, Italy…7,861
The American Cemetery at Somme, France…1,844
The American Cemetery at Mihiel, France…4,153
The American Cemetery at Suresnes, France…1,541

104,366 brave Americans who paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy and that does not include any of those we lost in the Pacific theater of operations during World War II. Nor the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the American Civil War, the First World War, the Korean War, the 58,272 in the Vietnam War, Desert Storm, the war in Afghanistan or Iraq and I probably missed one in there somewhere along with a multitude of smaller un-named armed conflicts where our servicemen or women paid that price as well !!!

I ask you all to please take one minute this Memorial Day weekend and use it for a moment of silence in honor of what these precious men and women did FOR US!!! Better yet; pray; pray over those sacrifices, pray over our country today – God Blessed America – It is now time for America to once again BLESS GOD!!!

For all my brothers and sisters out there who served with me in the Vietnam War, I attach the following tribute for you:

When the Eagle Cried:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ehbc1zU1BwQ


Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
– John 15:12-14

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After serving in the United States Navy for 22 years I retired from the service late in 1991. Having always loved the southwest, shortly after retiring, I moved to the Albuquerque area where I have resided since. Initially I worked as a contractor for approximately 6 years doing cable construction work. That becoming a little dangerous, at an elevated age, I moved into the retail store management environment managing convenience stores for roughly 16 years. With several disabilities, I am now fully retired and am getting more involved with helping Pastor Dewey & Pastor Paul with their operations at FGGAM which pleases my heart greatly as it truly is - "For God's Glory Alone". I met my precious wife Sandy here in Albuquerque and we have been extremely happily married for 18 years and I am the very proud father to Sandy's wonderful children, Tiana, our daughter, Ryan & Ross, our two sons, and proud grandparents to 5 wonderful grandchildren. We attend Christ Full Deliverance Ministries in Rio Rancho which is lead by Pastor's Marty & Paulette Cooper along with Elder Mable Lopez as regular members. Most of my time is now spent split between my family, my church & helping the Pastors by writing here on the FGGAM website and doing everything I can to support this fantastic ministry in the service of our Lord. Praise to GOD & GOD Bless to ALL! UPDATED 2021: Rick and Sandy moved to Florida a few years ago. We adore them and we pray for Rick as he misses Sandy so very, very much!


  1. Actually, you are slightly incorrect. Eight of the cemeteries you listed are for WWI. Flanders Field, Brookwood, Suresnes, Somme, Aisne Marne, St Mihiel, Oise Aisne, and Meuse Argonne are all WWI cemeteries.

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