Christmas Eve at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten
On Christmas Eve at dusk, candles are lit at all graves at the Canadian War Cemetery, located in the woods North of Holten.
This time it was special, because of the snow, so rare, early in the season.
Schoolchildren, during the year taking care of the graves, are putting the candles at every grave at the end of the day.
The candles are a Finnish design, and cannot be blown out by wind nor rain.
The local Pipeband, named “The 48th Highlanders” after the Canadian regiment that was involved in the fierce fighting in the area, plays laments.
Four local hornblowers, blowing a traditional, very old home-made wooden instrument the “Midwinterhoorn” are heard from the North, East, West and South.
An elderly gentleman told me: “As a schoolboy I was proud to take care of the graves of ‘my’ Canadian soldiers. They died for our freedom, we are well aware of that. We considered them as members of our family, and loved them as such. They are also our sons, brothers, fathes, uncles.
If relatives should come over from Canada, they will find the graves of their loved ones well kept, any day, any time of the year.“