Sunday, October 6, 2013

'Il Silencio' (The Silence) played by 13 year old Melissa Venema with André Rieu and his orchestra at the 'Vrijthof' in Maastricht.

'Il Silenzio' is an Italian instrumental piece written in 1965 by trumpet player Nini Rosso. André Rieu (born 1949) is a famous Dutch violinist, conductor, and composer.

A few years ago, an American visited the Netherlands and the American Cemetery and Memorial in the village of Margraten, about six miles from Maastricht. There lie buried 8,301 American soldiers killed in the battles to liberate Holland in the fall and winter of 1944-5. Sgt. Bill Dukeman, 101st Airborne Division, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Second Battalion, Company C (of "Band of Brothers fame) is buried there. He was killed in the battle of "The Crossroads" in northern Holland.

The Dutch hold an annual memorial concert every September at the above cemetery to remember and honor the Americans who died to free them in Operation Market Garden and subsequent efforts to eject the German army from Holland.

Sgt. Dukeman, like many other fallen GIs, was "adopted" by a Dutch family. Dukeman's family in the States was contacted and hosted in Holland, and his grave site decorated each year by his Dutch "family." They keep his portrait in their home, displayed in a place of honor. Fathers pass this obligation down to their sons in Holland. This version of the original "taps" music is played by a 13 year old Dutch girl named Melissa Venema. The conductor of the orchestra is Andre Rieu from Holland.

Many of you may never have heard taps played in its entirety . The original version of Taps was called Last Post, and was written by Daniel Butterfield in 1801. It was rather lengthy and formal, as you will hear in this clip, so in 1862 it was shortened to 24 notes and re-named Taps.

Melissa Venema is playing it on a trumpet whereby the original was played on a bugle.

As web master and Director of the Attala County History and Genealogy web site, I too had an occassion to become familiar with Americans buried in cemeteries in the Neitherlands. I was contacted by Bert Eggen of Voerendaal in the Netherlans. Bert Eggen explained that he had adopted the grave of an American soldier that was killed in World War II and buried in Margraten, Netherlands in a military cemetery and he wanted to locate the relatives of this soldier, John Rutherford. He provided the information he had which included the fact that John was originally from Attala County, Mississippi. Bert began a search for resources on the Internet that would aid him in locating John's relatives. Bert posted a message to a Mississippi Message Board which eventually led him to me. I immediately began to use the Internet resources available to me in an attempt to locate a relative of John Rutherford.

John N. Rutherford

Private, U.S. Army
Service # 34345706
4th Signal Battalion

Entered the Service from: Mississippi
Died: 6-Dec-44
Buried at: Plot B Row 21 Grave 3
Netherlands American Cemetery
Margraten, Netherlands

Additional information about Bert Eggen's search for relatives of John Rutherford can be found by clicking on the link below:

John Rutherford

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