Airborne March

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Airborne March
AirborneWandeltocht.jpg
Official name Airborne Wandeltocht
Observed by Netherlands
Date First Saturday in September
2013 date September 7  (2013-09-07)
2014 date September 6  (2014-09-06)
2015 date September 5  (2015-09-05)
2016 date September 3  (2016-09-03)
Frequency annual

The Airborne March is an annual Dutch commemorative event of remembrance that began in 1947 and takes place on the first Saturday in September at Oosterbeek near Arnhem in the Netherlands. Over 34,000 people took part in the 67th march in 2013.

The march is one of several events attended by veterans, living relatives, soldiers and army cadets plus RAF and air cadets from the United Kingdom together with Dutch military and civilians to commemorate the 1700 British and Polish soldiers and airmen who lost their lives at the Battle of Arnhem during the Second World War and who are buried at the Airborne Cemetery at Oosterbeek. The march is also meant to remind one and all, especially the post-war generations, of the sacrifices man was ready to make for the restoration of democracy.

It is organised every year by the Politie Sport Association "Renkum", at the sports park Hartenstein in Oosterbeek, just beyond the Airborne Museum, the former Hartenstein Hotel, which was used as Divisional H.Q. by Major General Roy Urquhart CB, DSO at the time of the battle. The revenues of the Airborne March are used to enable veterans and next of kin with poor means, to come over to The Netherlands and attend the annual Airborne-commemorations in and around Arnhem.

The routes lead past the most important wartime locations in the Oosterbeek area:

  • the former Hartenstein Hotel, which was the Divisional H.Q. at the time of the battle and is now the Airborne Museum
  • the Airborne Cemetery, where over 1700 British and polish soldiers are buried
  • the dropzones on the Ginkel Heath near Ede
  • the vast woods of the "Bilderberg" where troops fought a hard battle
  • the drop and landing zones of Wolfheze, Renkum, Heelsum and Ginkel Heath near Ede.
  • the Old Church where troops gathered during the retreat

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