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USAREUR Soldiers Honor Battle of the Bulge Veterans

DIEKIRCH, Luxembourg, December 20, 2004 – Sixty years ago, during the waning days of World War II, the Allied front had a weak link in the Benelux region. On the morning of Dec. 16, 1944, the German Army attacked that front in a final effort to reverse the tide of the war.

The campaign, the battles that ensued and the men and women who fought them, earned a place in history during the Battle of the Bulge.

"The Battle of the Bulge was cruel, fierce, barbaric and brut, it was the German dictator's attempt to reverse the irreversible," said Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker.

"What a waste of human lives. The Battle of the Bulge resulted in the killing of more than 50,000 Soldiers and civilians with 80,000 more wounded and 35,000 captured or missing. Story
Belgian Residents Thank Battle of Bulge Vets

HOUFFALIZE, Belgium, Dec. 17, 2004 – Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge got a hero's welcome today from local residents who endured some of the most brutal fighting of the battle between U.S. and German troops here 60 years ago.

Memorial ceremonies and a special Mass here commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge and civilians as well as troops who died here during the fighting.

Houffalize, on the banks of the Meuse River north of Bastogne, was a highly strategic crossroads during World War II.

Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge listen to local officials, schoolchildren and U.S. officials thank them for their role in the battle at a reception in Houffalize, Belgium, during 60th anniversary commemoration activities,German troops fought bitterly to maintain their hold on the town, which was virtually destroyed during the battle and endured the deaths of some 200 of its citizens within just a few hours.

However, the U.S. 2nd, 3rd and 11th Armored divisions finally were able to break the Nazi stronghold here, after which Houffalize became a linkup point for the 1st and 3rd Armies as they forced the Germans to retreat to the east. Story

Ceremonies Commemorate
60th Anniversary of Battle of Bulge

LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg, Dec. 16, 2004 – Citizens of Luxembourg and Belgium joined veterans of the Battle of the Bulge here today to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the opening day of the battle and to honor the 19,000 U.S. soldiers who died during what proved to be one of the largest and bloodiest encounters of World War II.

In the cold, fog-shrouded Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial, the veterans paid tribute to 5,000 of their comrades buried here following what Luxembourg

Snow-covered crosses honor 5,000 fallen U.S. servicemembers at the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial. Photo by Bill Miles Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker acknowledged were their "most terrible days."

Juncker praised the "courageous young men" who endured what many said felt like overwhelming odds to free Luxembourg from five years of German occupation. "This is a day to pay tribute and to show our deepest gratitude," he told the veterans. Story

Bush: Today's Troops Follow Battle of Bulge Vets' Example
LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg, Dec. 16, 2004 – A proclamation issued today by President Bush praises veterans of the Battle of the Bulge for their service and sacrifices and notes that today's military men and women continue to follow "this great tradition of achievement and courage" as they defend the nation against terror.

The proclamation, read to the veterans by U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg Peter Terpeluk at the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial here, pays
tribute to them for making a "formidable stand"

Air Force Secretary Jim Roche tells Battle of the Bulge veterans Dec. 16 they set the standard for today's troops waging the war on terror. Photo by Donna Miles during a massive German counteroffensive launched 60 years ago today.

The American soldiers' actions, Bush wrote, proved to be "a turning point in the war" that "was critical to the defeat of Nazi Germany and the liberation of Europe from tyranny." Story

Luxembourg Officials Thank Battle of Bulge Vets
CLERVAUX, Luxembourg, Dec. 15, 2004 – Luxembourg officials opened a weeklong lineup of ceremonies and observances throughout the Ardennes region here today by thanking about 100 veterans of the Battle of the Bulge for liberating them from their German occupiers 60 years ago.

Camille Kohn, president of CEBA, French acronym for a Battle of the Bulge research organization, told the veterans the nation feels "immense gratitude" for the American

 Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge and their families gather in Clervaux, Luxembourg, for a ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the battle. Photo by Bill Miles soldiers who liberated it after five years of oppression.

Kohn joined Clervaux Mayor Francis Stephany in laying flowers at the foot of the GI Monument during a solemn ceremony in the town center. Story

Battle of Bulge Heroes Demonstrated Age-Old Army Values

CLERVAUX, Luxembourg, Dec. 15, 2004 – The courage, determination and patriotism demonstrated by U.S. soldiers at the Battle of the Bulge are the same qualities exhibited throughout the Army's history and among today's soldiers, an Army official told veterans gathered here today to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the battle.

Daniel Denning, principal deputy to the assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs, thanked about 100 veterans of the Battle of the Bulge for their

Former Army Spc. Carl Dalke, who served with the 101st Airborne Division in Bastogne, Belgium, participated in the 60th anniversary commemoration of the Battle of the Bulge. Courtesy photo by Bill Miles"sacrifice and courage under incredibly difficult conditions."

In December 1944, Clervaux was the headquarters of the 28th Division's 110th Regimental Combat Team, which made what Denning called "a valiant stand" that slowed the Germans' advance toward Bastogne. Story

More Information  
World War II 60th Anniversary Committee The German Counteroffensive in the Ardennes
The Ardennes: Battle of the Bulge Europe Recalls the Brutal Battle of the Bulge
Air Power in the Battle of the Bulge Belgian Embassy Honors Battle of Bulge Vets
Last Updated:
12/21/2004, Eastern Daylight Time
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