The Mayoress of Overbetuwe: Mrs. E. Tuijnman
 Dear veterans, ladies and gentlemen,

This morning I attended the commemoration of the Ginkel Heath in Ede. Like every other year, hundreds of parachuters made the jump, most of them with modern material that is easy to control.
But, as usual, they also have those hemispheres used by the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade, which was under the command of General Sosabowski, to jump in those September days of 1944.
I asked myself what must have been going through the minds of those men, when they jumped from the relative safety of their Dakotas there, over Driel. Without the modern communication methods that we now have and which probably would have put them wiser.
Dependent on the wind, under a cloudy sky, looking down at an unfamiliar landscape with fear of the enemy in their hearts. No turning back.
Living targets.
Above this very village.

While you can try to imagine that, you realise that this is actually impossible, that it is an impossible task.
The brigade was trained for another purpose.
They were meant to free the Polish.
However, another decision was made for them.
You all know how it ended.
And yet if I were to end my speech on this note, I would do a great injustice to the youngest of people who had the courage to work towards the liberation of an unfamiliar country, with unfamiliar people and an unfamiliar language.
But what was it all about?
It became the struggle against injustice and oppression, against hunger and exhaustion, against the restriction of the human spirit, against the madness of an arbitrary power game that had nothing to do with the value and dignity of human life.

If we thought that the result of their efforts would mean no more war, then we would be mistaken.
After all, just over 70 years later – when there are still people who can recount what they experienced then – young people are taking up the struggle against enslavement, oppression and poverty once again.
If this has taught us that it is still worth fighting for freedom, it may seem like a cold comfort. Nonetheless, it is essential to our survival.
Giving another what we gained, in part due to the effort of the men who were dropped above an unknown area, above Driel.
The men from the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade.
The least we can do is to commemorate them today in silent admiration and in awe of their courage.
And to continue doing so.
As a tribute and lasting gratitude to those who fought for our freedom and democracy.