DECEMBER 9, 2019 – People from around the world will gather in Bastogne, Belgium, Dec. 13 to 16 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge.
The 42st Bastogne December Historic Walk, which will occur Saturday Dec. 14, will bring participants in the footsteps of the 101st Airborne Division. Many re-enactor groups will participate in the walk or line up along the different routes to reconstitute some Battle of the Bulge scenes.
Participants have the choice between three distances: 7, 14, and 21 kilometers. Participation is €7 per person. Proceeds from the walk go solely to U.S. veterans.
Registration and payment are on-site only: on Dec. 13 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., and on Dec. 14 from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the Sports Center located on Rue Gustave Delperdange.
Walkers will start from the Sports Center between 7 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Participants will receive a free hot beverage along the route, a map of the walk, a historical booklet, and a souvenir patch. A certificate of participation will be issued on arrival.
COMMEMORATION OF THE SIEGE OF BASTOGNE
In addition to the walk, a patriotic parade will begin at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday Dec. 14 as well as a wreath-laying at the Patton and McAuliffe monuments.
Organized by the Town of Bastogne, the commemoration is a patriotic procession that brings together veterans, brotherhoods, dignitaries, students, Belgian and American military platoons and veterans. The ‘Jet de Noix’ (throwing of the nuts) from the balcony of the Town Hall will bring the commemoration to a close.
On Sunday Dec. 15, a static exhibition of military vehicles will take place in the Quartier Latin at 12:30 p.m. A parade will start at 2 p.m. and all the vehicles will be displayed until 4.30 p.m. in the Grand’Rue.
BASTOGNE SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Friday Dec. 13. at 7 p.m.
– Opening and fireworks
Saturday, Dec. 14 and Sunday, Dec. 15 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
– Military market with books, clothes, and more
– Meetings with veterans
– Vehicle Restoration Center open doors
– Historical vehicles
– Panther Tank of the “Musée des Blindés” in Saumur, France
– M1 Abrams and M2 Bradley demonstrations
– 101st U.S. Airborne Division presence
– Special Operations Regiment
– Motorized Brigade with two variants of PIRANHA III C
– Medical Component
– Defense Information Center
Sunday 15.12 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.
– Static exhibition of vehicles
– Departure of the parade towards the city center with the participation of the U.S.101st Airborne Division
Other events will occur for the 75 years of the battle. On Sunday, Dec. 15, a new monument will be inaugurated in the village of Schönberg, Belgium. This memorial tells the story of how approximately 7,000 GI’s of the U.S. 106th Infantry Division who were captured in and around Schönberg, after being surrounded for several days and having suffered many casualties in the heavy fighting. The monument is located near the bridge across the Our River and is dedicated to all Prisoners of War. The ceremony will start at 9:45 a.m.
In Hardigny, on Saturday, Dec. 14 (from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and Sunday, Dec. 15, the village will re-enact the 1940s with a historic, marked trail that will allow visitors to discover and experience the living conditions in the countryside as they were during the winter of 1944-45. A pyrotechnic display will occur on Sunday, Dec. 15 at 10:30 a.m. The village was selected for its aesthetic appeal and historical value. The show consists of a ‘lively’ retrospective of this sad moment in history interpreted by re-enactors featuring U.S. and German military personnel and local civilians.
From Dec. 13 to Dec. 15, the village of Bizory will feature an airfield where you can discover the legendary Piper planes. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The entrance is free. There will be a reconstituted military encampment as well as a militaria fair. The airfield is located on the path of the historic walk.
By USAG BENELUX Public Affairs Office