Veterans' nightly march hounours WWII soldiers

De_Oversteek_-_The_Crossing
. De Oversteek (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Steven Vance)

Every evening, as the lights are being lit, veterans walk along the De Oversteek in Nijmegen. The Sunset March is a tribute to the allied soldiers who fought for the freedom of the Netherlands in WWII.

The bridge was officially opened a year ago, and the 48 light poles on De Oversteek were lit for the first time. This is a reminder of the 48 allied soldiers who died when American soldiers crossed the Waal in September 1944. Around the time of sunset, the light poles are sequentially lit - couple by couple - at the pace of a slow march.

That made veteran Tim Ruijling from Elst think of the idea. "How did it start? It's quite simple actually. I read an article last year about the lamps on the bridge De Oversteek and that they go on at the tempo of a 'slow pace'. Then I thought, why does no one walk with it? I then walked along once and realized that the tempo is a 'slow march'. " he says. "The idea has been in the back of my mind for a long time. Then a few people founded the club Veteranen Overbetuwe and I dropped the idea again. After that it went quickly. There is a website set up where veterans can sign up."

Last Sunday was the official first march. In total the lighting of the lights lasts about 12 minutes.

"There is no dress code, everyone decides that themselves." says Tim Ruijling, "Some wear a beret, an award, a flag or veterans badge. Even ordinary people can walk along. I think I'll wear a beret tonight."

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