BASTOGNE - General Information


We recommend the official site of the Bastogne City :


The main site of Bastogne

2004, December 12th:  Christmas Concert in Rachamps (Bastogne)

Medal Presentation


Until early 2007 the City of Bastogne, Belgium, conducted an OFFICIAL Medal Presentation at the City Hall of BASTOGNE, for any WWII veteran and accompanying group of friends and family.
Unfortunately there are (almost) no Official 60th Commemoration Remembrance Medals available anymore.

However, the City is still willing to receive any visiting veterans and families in an official and appropriate way.
Please contact the City at or contact me to help you to connect with the right service/person.


In September 2005, a medal was conducted to :
 - Donald 'Don' BURGETT (506 PI/A Co).
    This was witnessed by his friend Mark Bando, writer of several Airborne Books.
    Don also has written several famous books, the one about his history at Bastogne is 'Seven Roads to Hell'.


In December 2004, medals were conducted to :
 - Ken HESLER (463 PFA/D Btty)
 - Marvin D. MARSH (506 PI/I Co)


In September 2004, medals were conducted to several veterans :
- William 'Wild Bill' GUARNERE  (506 PI/E Co)
- Edward 'Babe' HEFFRON  (506 PI/E Co)
- Forrest 'Goody' GUTH  (506 PI/E Co)
- Amos 'Buck' TAYLOR  (506 PI/E Co)


In June 2004, medals were conducted to :
- Clarence 'Clancy' Lyall (506 PI/E Co), I brought the Medal to Normandy where we met.
- William 'Bill' Tingen (463 PFA/B Btty), I brought the medal to Greenville, NC.


Speech at the City Hall


Whenever possible I try to attend at these Medal Presentations, and then I sometimes speech.
Hereunder the words I spoke when Bill and Babe were in Bastogne on September 16th, 2004.


I have added the speech here beneath not only because
it was the one for Mr. W. Guarnere and Mr. E. Heffron.
I have added it because it was the first one I have officially used at the Bastogne City Hall..

Reading those words again today , I have the feeling and strong belief that these words were not meant for them alone, but for all of you, veterans and patriots from all Nations.

If you are an Allied veteran or patriot, from any Nation whatsoever,
reading this speech, please do have the feeling it was also written ESPECIALLY FOR YOU.


Mr. Guarnere and Mr. Heffron, dear Veterans, dear family members and friends, dear tour members and organizers, fellow Americans; dear City Council, ladies and gentlemen: It is a high honor for me to speak to our American liberators and the American people here at Bastogne today.  


Although my expressions of gratitude towards you are never-ending, I will try to keep it short. Most of the time I leave the speeches to politicians or managers which I am not… 


Since I was a 10 year old kid I had two big wishes: to be in the military and to shake hands with at least one of my liberators. My first wish became reality at 16. I enlisted for the Non-Commissioned Officers School and studied there for three years, and at 19, I became a tank commander.


 My second wish came true just recently in 2004 when I had the honor to shake hands with your friend, Clancy Lyall, in Normandy on June the 5th, close to Ste Marie du Mont while watching a parachute jump out the well known C47 Skytrain, with troopers in the original M1942 jumpsuits. 


The week after that, I flew to Greenville in North Carolina where I shook hands with Bill Tingen on his 80th birthday. Bill was a member of the 463rd Parachute Field Artillery, 101st Airborne Division, here in Bastogne in 1944. 

And now I have the privilege of meeting you here, Bill and Babe, with accompanying veterans and all your relatives and friends. I am really blessed. 


The reason I have tried to organize this event today with the City Council is that we want each of you to understand, that you will be honored forever and always by the nation you freed. Generations to come must know what happened here and we can only do so by keeping the memory alive and by educating them that freedom did not come automatically, but was restored by the efforts and sacrifices of hundreds of thousands of patriots and soldiers during World War II. 


To Bill and Babe, to the entire 506th Parachute Infantry, to the whole 101st Airborne Division, to all American liberators, to all Allied troops and patriots in World War 2 : THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for liberating our country and defeating the enemy ! 


We will always honor all the liberators who fought here in the noblest of causes, and I am sure America would do it again for us, any day.


If you allow me I would like now to read a part of Laurence Binyon's poem “For the Fallen”, used as the Canadian Act of Remembrance. It seemed appropriate to read these words now in memory of all fallen comrades :


They shall not grow old, as we who are left grow old.

 Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

 At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

 We will remember them.


Thank you and may God bless you!