The airborne landings around the Battle of Arnhem were commemorated on Saturday on the Ginkelse Heide near Ede.

Paratroopers jumped, 77 years later, from (mostly) historic planes.

The jumps were easy to see, because the weather was clear and sunny.

The airborne landings were part of the Allied liberation operation Market Garden in 1944.

Many paratroopers and aircraft with equipment landed then, with the intention of capturing the Rhine Bridge in Arnhem from the German occupiers.

The operation failed, so the liberation of a large part of the Netherlands lasted until May 1945.

The memorial service usually attracts tens of thousands of interested people, but that was not possible this year on that scale due to the corona measures.

Last year there was no public welcome at all, now a maximum of 15,000 visitors.

People who wanted to see the paratroopers had to pre-order a free ticket.

The heath was also only accessible by bicycle or on foot to avoid traffic chaos.

See also: Today Market Garden is commemorated: risky operation where a lot went wrong

Speeches, bagpipe music and The Last Post

The 11 Airmobile Brigade, specialized in rapid deployments from the air, had organized the airborne landings.

Several hundred paratroopers jumped during a so-called

mass drop

.

There were many speeches, there was (bagpipe) music, the Wilhelmus sounded and

The Last Post

was blown.

A minute of silence was also observed and wreaths were laid.

There was also a market and old military vehicles on display.

The official part was over around 12:15 PM.

René Verhulst, mayor of Ede, called it very important that the battle of that time, 77 years later, is still commemorated.

"We must keep the stories. Let's also use them against oppression and against injustice."

Afterwards, he looked back with satisfaction on the airborne landings and the commemoration.

The veterans, who are always guests at the commemorations as far as health allows, were also not there this year due to corona.

These brave, brave and inspiring people will be sorely missed at the commemoration, the speakers said.

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