Dutch city marks heroism of the “Bridge Too Far”

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From 17 to 26 September ever year the Dutch city of Arnhem commemorates Operation Market Garden, the Allied airborne action that took place here towards the end of the Second World War.

On Friday 20 September this year an official ceremony will take place by the city’s bridge, the “Bridge Too Far” of the 1980s film, which was a key objective for the British paratroops who landed here in 1944.

Following that sober event, Arnhem will stage its Bridge to Liberation Experience, featuring movies, live music and first-hand accounts of what it was like to be living in the city during the war.

Mass parachute jump

The following day, Saturday 21 September, hundreds of parachutists will land at Ginkel Heath, which was the main drop zone back in 1944.

In nearby Nijmegen, itself an Operation Market Garden objective, a daily event takes place at sunset throughout the year.

In a moving ceremony, a military veteran crosses the ‘De Oversteek’ bridge to honour the 48 American soldiers who died crossing the Waal river in September 1944. The 48 lights on the bridge light up one by one, with the veteran and other participants following behind.

Image: Imperial War Museum

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