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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international mushroom consultants. MEMOIRS about husband Pieter Vedder, who was a SCIENTIFIC PIONEER in Mushroom Cultivation Education. His practical handbook is in 9 languages and is called the MUSHROOM BIBLE: https://mariettesbacktobasics.blogspot.com/2020/08/modern-mushroom-growing-2020-harvesting.html

Sunday, May 29, 2011


This blog is written by my husband Pieter J.C. Vedder.
A very personal story, that highlights Memorial Day.

May the younger generation come to appreciate the true meaning of FREEDOM...

Over the years, the two most asked questions we have had to answer have been: where are you from (because of our accent) and also; do you like it here.

The answer to the first question is quite simple; we came to this country from The Netherlands some 27 years ago and in 1993 we both became American citizen.

Then the second question; Do we like it here? You bet! We both really LOVE this great country, especially the South and not the least, Laurens County.
Perhaps you like to hear a few reasons for our love affair with this country and especially with Georgia.
First of all, there is the ample living space for everybody. Compare this: the state of Georgia is 4.7 times bigger than The Netherlands, but has only about half the population.

We once bought a lot in the Venice area of Italy, where we lived and we had to pay over 40,000 US dollars for approx 8,500 sq. ft.(0.195133 acre). We paid less here for a couple of acres.
Taxes in the US are also lower then in most European countries (although the Democrats in this country are trying hard to match them). We also found it relatively easy to integrate in this community; the people in general are friendly and perhaps less nosy and envious then in Europe.
Then there is the climate. Okay, we might have some hot days and we have gnats and fire ants. But if you think that you are better off shoveling your car out of a pile of snow (we lived in Pennsylvania too) you may have it.
But what we appreciate most, and what many Americans, especially the young generation, take for granted, is the personal freedom.
As a teenage boy, I have experienced what it means to loose your freedom. Especially the last year from the five years under German occupation has had a big impact on my life.
For months we have been under heavy artillery fire. (We lived close to the German border and the river Rhine). Shrapnel wounded me; we had to leave our home and village and had to evacuate to another part of the country etc. Many families lost loved ones as the result of bombardments. The Germans executed two sons 17 and 23 from a befriended family staying with us, my middle brother just escaping that ordeal.
We were lucky that we lived in the countryside (my dad was in the greenhouse business) therefore we always could find something to eat but the people in the big cities were really starving. When, on September 17, 1944 the Operation Market Garden started in our area (near Arnhem) dropping thousands of paratroopers to secure the bridges over the rivers we thought that the war would soon be over for us. We were wrong; we still had to wait almost half a year.
Can you imagine the feelings we experienced when, in April of 1945 the American troops and their allies finally liberated us. I will never forget that day in April when we came back to our small village from our half-year evacuation, finding the greenhouses flattened and most of the houses ruined, including ours. We slept that night, rolled in an old carpet (we didn’t have a bed yet) and when we woke up, the sun was already shining. My dad put his arms around us and said; we are the richest family on earth; we are all free and alive.
Thank you America, we will never forget what you and your Allies did for us and we will never forget that so many young and brave Americans, among others, have given their lives for our freedom.
Margraten overview of American Cemetery in Limburg, The Netherlands
The pictures show the American Cemetery: Fallen But Not Forgotten in Margraten of the Province Limburg where Mariette is born and where we both lived. This is the final resting place for 8,301 young American soldiers. Freedom has its price!
The Dutch observe their Remembrance Day May 4 and Liberation Day May 5, but they've made it a tradition on the Sunday before the U.S. Memorial Day to pay tribute to the American service members who fought for freedom and are now buried at the cemetery in Margraten.
Today was the 67th time that they observed this.
Seen on one of the photos is: William A Mc Kenna Jr Capt 121 INF 8 Div Georgia Dec 25 1944…
Photos taken by my brother: Martin Van den Munckhof except overview cemetery.

Related links:

12½ jaar L1 - Amerikaanse president in Limburg | President George W. Bush visits Margraten on May, 8 in 2005. He did stay at the Château Hotel, St. Gerlach and was very complimentary towards the Staff. Proud of my Province of birht Limburg!
President Honors and Commemorates Veterans in the Netherlands - Margraten, The Netherlands | From White House Archives May 8, 2005
Dutch Queen and Bush lead VE Day memorial | YouTube video


  1. Bonjour Mariette,
    Thank you for posting this - we must never forget.
    I left another comment, but I think I scrolled down too far and left my message on the wrong post...in case you were confused! :) I do that sometimes. Hope you are having a good weekend,

  2. MARIETTE!!! THANK YOU FOR COMING TO VISIT! Oh, I have been to this site before and it is so impressive. There is a mood there like no other, and what a great reminder of the committment our soldiers have to our country. THANK YOU AGAIN FOR COMING OVER TO THE PARTY!!! Anita

  3. Lieve Mariette en Pieter,

    Wat een mooi geschreven post van Pieter. Deze post is voor ons voor een deel heel herkenbaar. Bij ons ook dezelfde 2 vragen. Ik herkende de eerste foto meteen. Uiteraard zijn wij met school ook naar Margraten geweest. Gelukkig hebben wij de oorlog zelf niet meegemaakt. En hopen dat ook niet te moeten meemaken.

    Mariette namens John en mij bedankt voor jou mooi geschreven reactie op mijn blog. Je schrijft het goed maar jij hebt dan ook meer levenservaring dan ons!

    Wij wensen jullie een fijne zondag,
    John en Sandy

  4. Thank you Pieter for sharing that with us. What experiences you have had.
    Mariette thank you for your lovely comment on my page. I have not blogged often lately and I have not seen as many visitors to my page, but I like that you visited and left such a nice comment. I hope your friends/family have a lovely stay in Australia. Maybe one day you will come :)

  5. Mooi bericht Pieter! Ik ging vroeger samen met mijn ouders, broertjes en oma vaak naar Margraten. Oma woonde er niet ver vandaan. Aantal jaren geleden zijn we er samen met onze zonen gaan kijken. Nog altijd héél indrukwekkend! Fijne zondag, groeten van Inge

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this Pieter, a wonderful reminder of how blessed and lucky we are to be in this country. Not being born here myself I appreciate all the things America has to offer. Remembering our soldiers is the true meaning of Memorial day:)

    Mariette, I did find and get rid of the virus. Norton and several other programs didn't find it...it hides and disguises itself as part of your operating system. I finally found it and cleaned it successfully with Malwarebytes (it was free!). I was completely panicked last night and couldn't rest until it was gone!

    Have a wonderful day Mariette and Pieter!

  7. Ja heel herkenbaar! Ook mijn vader vertelt nog vaak over hoe het in de oorlog was en hoe ze bevrijd zijn! en Margraten ligt niet ver van hier, dus daar zijn we ook al vaker geweest;iedere keer weer "very impressive"!
    Nog n fijne avond voor jullie!

  8. Mooi geschreven inderdaad. Mijn moeder is wel eens op Margraten geweest vroeger en ze vond het heel indrukwekkend. Moeder heeft de oorlog bewust meegemaakt, ze was geboren in 1925 in Groningen. Echte honger hebben zij ook niet gehad, er was altijd wel iets wat mijn Opi deed om aan eten te komen. Mijn ooms hebben samen met opi in het verzet gezeten, ooms zijn gevangen gezet en mijn ene oom is in de oorlog ontsnapt en overgezwommen naar Zwitserland.

    INDERDAAD iets om nooit meer te vergeten.

  9. Thanks Pieter for this beautiful post. As a foreigner, I want to join you in this tribute to the American soldiers who gave their lives for the freedom in this country. I very much appreciate the freedom and peace here. I'm happy and proud to be an American citizen. I don't miss the violence in my native country. A cousin of mine was raped and murdered at age 24. My son's father was shot in the head 10 years ago, as he was walking outside of the school where he taught elementary grades.

    Blessings to you and Mariette. Glad to have you both as my friends!


  10. Cara Mariette sono felice che te e tuo marito amiate il posto dove vivete.Penso anch'io sia bellissimo!Grazie degli auguri per il mio compleanno,baci,Rosetta

  11. en zo is dat....vrijheid is zo'n vanzelfsprekenheid voor ons, mensen van nu, maar we mogen niet vergeten hoe we daar toch aan gekomen zijn!

    Nosy& envious...hm hm....waar een kleine gemeente groot in kan zijn :((


  12. a photo to be come quiet and sad,we always must think on all that mothers and sons, dying in war. who are lost their loveones. We have vistited Normandie in France. Also a place to be impressed. have a nice day and we love the peace.

  13. Pieter and Mariette, Thank you so much for your beautiful tribute to our fallen heros. I so enjoyed hearing about your early life. I am so sorry for what you went through. My Uncle served in WWII under General Patton. My father joined but never left USA. Thankfully the war ended before his training was finished. We lost several extended family members.
    You are so right about the youth of today. They do not seem to know the meaning of sacrifice. I do hope it is not thrust upon them but if it is I pray they will be able to stand.
    I warms my heart to hear that you so love your adopted country. So often we only hear of the people who claim to hate our country but are doing anything possible to get here.
    Thank you for your citizenship. Your presence makes us a better society.
    Fondly, Ginger

  14. Lieve Mariette & Pieter,

    Wat een mooie post! Ook ik ben, als 2e generatie, dankbaar voor de vrijheid die de geallieerden ons hebben gegeven.

    Wij bezoeken Margraten wanneer wij in Limburg zijn. Een naamgenoot van ons heeft daar zijn laatste rustplaats gevonden. Bovendien woonde mijn moeder in haar jonge jaren niet ver van het kerkhof vandaan. Een groot deel van mijn familie woont er nog steeds.

    Happy memorial day.

    Lieve groet, Madelief

  15. Danjewel voor deze mooie post.Ik zal de Amerikanene ook altijd dankbaar zijn dat ze Nederland en samen met de Engelsen, Fransen en Russen Europa bevrijd hebben, en denk ook vaak aan de jonge levens die hiervoor gegeven zij.Ja, je bent inderdaad rijk, als je vrij bent, dar had Pieter zijn vader groot gelijk in.Nu even een zakdoek halen want ik vond dit echt een toching post!!
    Nog een mooie dag gewenst.

  16. Help us God to NEVER forget...

    Beautiful post sweet Mariette. Your heart is so lovely.

    Thank you for visiting me today and for your gracious spirit. You bless me.

    Love, Rebecca

  17. Happy Memorial Day to you!!! I am the child of an American soldier, and I grew up moving from base to base, and country to country. The experience of living in different US states, and other countries shaped the adult I became. I am very emotional when I think about the men and women who have served, and are serving, this country ... tears rolled down my face this morning as I saw the motorcycles of Rolling Thunder heading up the highway to The Pentagon. I was born an American ... and I love this country!

  18. Thank you Pieter for this post. I am always very touched about the history of that war, my father told me always about it. Hope we all may live and especially our children in future, in freedom. I imagine you are happy in such a beautiful and free country and yes we will remember the soldiers.

    Regards Janny

  19. Hello Pieter and Mariette,
    what a thoughtful post. The grief of lost family members is everywhere the same.
    Wish you a blessed time.
    Best greetings, Johanna

  20. MARIETTE!!!
    Thank you for posting this.
    I think it is important to learn lesson from the tragedy and young generation to keep it in mind.
    I thank your husband to share this as well.

    My father who fought in the world warⅡdidn't talk about his experience to us. Probably too hard on him to describe.

    Wishing you spending a lovely weekend,

    Hugs, xoxo Orchid

  21. Thank you for this lovely post, Mariette. It is good for all of us to remember and appreciate the sacrifices made for our freedom. Susan

  22. 8,301 young American soldiers... such a big price for freedom.

    thank you for the posting....


  23. I have tears falling down my cheeks as I write this.

    Thank you Pieter for the most beautiful memorial day tribute I have ever read.

    As an American we are used to seeing all the negitive things about our country, thank you for sharing your positive thoughts.

    It is our honor and good fortune you choose to become citizens and a special treat to know you are a fellow Georgian!

    Hugs from your neighbor!

  24. Oh my goodness, what a heartfelt story, a perfect one for this Memorial Day. I too appreciate the freedom in this country, and my heart will forever be thankful for I have found safety in this land. I have witnessed political conflict and violence in my native country, and will never take for granted our freedom here.

    Thank you to the brave American men and women fighting for the world's freedom and justice.


  25. thank you for this, pieter, and of course, mariette. it brought tears to my eyes to feel what your family went through and the gratitude you feel for the allied troops.

  26. Dear Pieter and Mariette,
    Thank you for posting your story. I am passing this along to my daughter for her and my 16 year old grandson to read. My generation must make sure as many young people as possible know what sacrifices are made for our freedom. I love my country . Never shall we forget the ones who fought and died for our freedoms..

  27. Thank you Mariette and Pieter. You know first hand the loss of freedom and the terror of living under a dictatorial government. You appreciate what we have here far more than most.


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