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M and Ms visit USA

M&Ms visit USA

     Marcel and Mathilde Schmetz, friends of American veterans and owners of the Remember Museum in Belgium, were visitors to the USA in June.

     They attended a meeting of Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge at Worcester, MA.

     Marcel, who was less than seven when the Germans occupied Belgium in 1940, spent four years under German occupation.

     They were forced to study what the Germans dictated, and did manual labor. Young men of 17 or older were put into the German army and sent to the Russian front lines.

     When they were liberated by Americans in 1944 a unit camped on the family farm in Thimister-Clermont.

     When the unit was suddenly called to battle, they left equipment behind. That material became the basis for Marcel's extensive collection.

     Marcel and Mathilde help care for the nearly 8,000 American graves that remain in the nearby cemetery. They adopt graves, bring flowers, and pray.

     "We are so grateful to you all," Mathilde said, "But the real heroes are there in the cemetery."

     Veterans agree with her assessment.

     The 99th has visited the M&Ms often and will do so again in May, going through the wonderfully maintained musem, looking at vehicles, and enjoying a glass of homemade apple wine.

     There were 122 in attendance at the Worcester meeting.

     Former Sgt. Edward Asselin was the one who made original contact with the Belgians. He wore his original 99th Ike jacket to the reunion. Asselin is a former member of M/393 Infantry of the 99th.

     He gave the jacket to the museum, where it is on display. Many 99th veterans have items on display at the museum.

     The above information was provided by Christian W. de Marcken who is an American. His father was working in Brussels, and captured in May of 1940. He was liberated by American soldiers on Sept. 5, 1945. He is an associate of the 99th Association.

     A great deal of information, clippings, and photos was sent. All will be preserved in the 99th Archives.