A christmas visit at the American Cemetery in Margraten

27 december 2018

On December 23 Dan and son Dylan visited their (grand)uncle Russell Diehl at the American cemetery in Margraten. They requested to get in touch and meet the adopters, the Stoots family from Landgraaf. It was 9 am when the Stoots family arrived at the gate of the cemetery. Superintendent Shane Williams opened the gate himself. Mother and son with the (grand)children Reno en Yara.

Shortly after Dan and Dylan Diehl arrived from the city of Maastricht. This was the first time in 73 years that a family member visited uncle Russells’ grave. Mrs Stoots told that she visited the cemetery in Margraten when she was 8 years old and saw soldiers being buried. She also told that her mother corresponded with Russells’ mother until the eighties. They regularly received packages from the USA and the chewing gum was favourite. When mrs Diehl passed away the correspondence stopped.

Meeting family members Dan and Dylan was very special for the Stoots family. Renewed contact in presence of younger generations of both families creates confidence for the future. The adoption program brought them together and together they commemorate Russell and together they commemorate his sacrifice and the value of freedom. Christmas is a wonderful opportunity to get together with family and this reunion of an adopting family and American next of kin is a wonderful message for Christmas. Peace in the world for all.

Father Stoots with Reno and Yara, Dan Diehl, Mrs Stoots and Dylan Diehl.