Hans Shilling Letter of support
Hans Shilling Letter, December 2011
Stichting Oranjeverening Kerkrade
To whom it may concern.
Kerkrade, December 2011.
Ladies and gentlemen.
First of all I want to introduce myself. My name is Hans Schillings and I am the president of the Kerkrade Orange Committee. The Orange Committee organizes all sorts of activities concerning official national holidays in Kerkrade. Among these activities are also the Dutch Memorial Day, the Liberation Day and of course her Majesty the Queen’s birthday. In addition, we have organized the past 40th, 45th, 50th, 55th, 60th and 65th anniversary of the liberation of Kerkrade by the 30th Infantry Division “Old Hickory”. These anniversaries were milestones and highlights in the history of Kerkrade. We were able to welcome the veterans of the “Old Hickory Division” in our town during these occasions. These days were not only highlights but also very emotional events. The Orange Committee will continue organizing these events, even when the veterans will not be among us anymore. We believe that there is a strong need in keeping our youth informed and educated about World War II. Our motto is “Freedom, you cannot take it for granted; you have to keep on earning it”.
Several years ago I received information concerning the making of a documentary about the 30th Infantry Division. Since than, I have been in touch with Mr. Lew Adams and several other persons involved in the project. I learned that there was already a lot of valuable information available which can be used in their documentary. We strongly support this effort to make this documentary. It would honor the veterans and it would be a tremendous tool to be used to teach the younger generation and the generations after us.
Mr. Adams visited this area several times and was trying to include this area, where it all happened, in the documentary. A lot of very good ideas were discussed and I am sure that he can provide you with all necessary information about these ideas. Also the City of Kerkrade supports this project. We keep on investigating if there will be funds available for this project, also in this area. It was discussed that it would be a wonderful idea to bring back some of the veterans to the Kerkrade area, to finish filming for the documentary. The veterans could do some interviews on locations (Siegfried Line a.s.o.), together with the people of Kerkrade who were involved in the liberation activities.
We do have a lot of experience in organizing these kinds of activities. The only problem the project faces now is that there is still a lack of funds to make this happen. We can only underline the importance of this project and we sure hope that there will be enough funds available for the documentary project of the “Old Hickory Division”. Maybe another organization could also be of valuable assistance to find the necessary funds.
In addition, Mr. Adams gave me some discrete information about the possibility that the 30th Infantry Division could receive a well deserved special distinction from the President of the United States of America. Maybe this distinction could be given to the veterans while they are over here, where it all happened!
The 30th Infantry Division and the people who are trying to make this project work deserve our respect and sympathy and should get all possible help and assistance.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if more additional information is required.