Lieutenant General Christopher Donahue and team in Nijmegen

In April, 2022 Lieutenant General Christopher Donahue and team visited Nijmegen. They were hosted by the Orange Wonder Club. First, we visited the Van der Valk Hotel for the beautiful view at Nijmegen from the Skyroom. Mayor Bruls was also attending to welcome the group.  After that we toured the Hunnerpark, visited the WOII Info Center and had lunch and a presentation at the Lindenberg and we met with the veterans of the Sunset March to check out the river Waal and the Crossing bridge.

FAN exhibit on display in the 82nd Airborne Division War Memorial Museum, Fort Bragg, NC.

Late September 2022, the trip headed to Fort Bragg to attend the ‘All American Week’, which is a major annual military event at the 82nd Airborne Division home in NC. FAN founder- director Anja Adriaans was invited by the 82nd Airborne Division’s leadership to attend. Previously the ‘All American Week’ events were canceled due to Covid and the war in the Ukraine. And then last September the time had come, it really went on!

The FAN exhibit was opened at the 82nd Airborne Division’s War Memorial Museum during this All American Week. It was a true honor to do the ribbon-cutting with Major General Christopher LaNeve, Command Sergeant Major David Pitt and 82nd Airborne Museum director BG John Aarsen. A full program followed in the days after with a lecture, a tour in the Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, parades and a diner with speeches by MG LaNeve and CSM David Pitt. Highlight was the exclusive and fun performance of the 82nd Airborne All American Chorus ! This week was an impressive experience and it was an important event for the FAN Foundation. The exhibit will remain in the Museum for the remainder of 2023 where it will serve as inspirational and educational material.

Jubilee 75 Years International Friendship FAN Event 2022

We celebrated a wonderful special event in the Stevenskerk, the 75-year friendship between Albany NY and Nijmegen. A connection that arose from the Second World war. Thanks to the commitment and compassion of soldiers and the solidarity of ordinary citizens who all wanted to help others to rebuild after destruction and lack of freedom. A people-to-people friendship that gave hope and strength in 1947 to put their shoulders to the wheel.

This connection that led to a sister-cities friendship is a small but important event in the history of Nijmegen and Albany. It might in our time function as a beacon, perhaps as a role model for non-institutional reconstruction aid.

The 75th anniversary was a true highlight with mayor guest speakers and a very interested international audience, representing citizens and the military. Keynote speaker was Lieutenant General Christopher Donahue of the XVIII Airborne Corps. Other speakers were mayor Bruls of Nijmegen, Dr. Dorcey Applyrs – representing the City of Albany NY,  Ms. Addie Schroeder for the US Embassy to the Netherlands. Musical performances by duo Saskia Bak and Tom van den Heuvel as well as QLite, Q Harmony Nijmegen Student Orchestra. Extraordinary was the short animation by Femke Koppe supported by Ongekend Verhaal Nijmegen.

The media team of Pluryn made a beautiful aftermovie that you don’t want to miss! The video lasts 2 minutes, you get a clear impression of the program and you can see who spoke and who was there.

‘Nieuws uit Nijmegen’ made a report of the meeting, with the article here. The photo report is by Frank van Raaij. In this newsletter you will find a selection of his beautiful photos. For program details, click here.