On September 23rd 2006, crewmember John Tayloe arrived from Edam, where he is guest of Marga en Ber Eeltink, around 10.15 AM. He was introduced to the American Consul Michael Barkin in the youth-run community shop.
The revealing was performed by John Tayloe and the alderman Rolf Steenwinkel of the Westerpark district. Flanking them were two grandchildren of Matheus Baarslag and Frederik Houttuin, who were killed by scrap pieces from the plane. After removing the Dutch and American flags, these flags were folded by the grandchildren and handed to John. At the start of the ceremony Hans Kloos presented his poem about the plane crash.
There was a meeting in the community shop after the ceremony with some bread and coffee. John departed with a small group of people at 1.30 PM in an old rescue boat to the Anne Frank house. Here he was given a magnificent welcome and exclusive tour. The boat went on to the maritime museum for a visit of the V.O.C. ship "Amsterdam". After returning at the Van Noordtkade at around 4.00 PM the boat was moored. Everybody went to home but John was invited for a diner in the town Edam the next day to celebrate his 82th birthday.
I am sure we put John in the full spotlight and made it a memorable day. When he left he said he enjoyed it all from begin to end. On September 26th he departed to Berlin to meet up with the other veterans to visit two prison camps he has been in.
The ceremony would not have been possible without the help from many people:
- Vladimir Mars for making the plaque;
- Riet Wesenbeek, Maarten Dubois and Filicia Tyndal for providing coffee en bread;
- Ad van Deventer provided the boat and al sorts of help;
- my son René Ros for taking pictures.
Also many thanks to the people of the Westerpark district: Patricia Uidam, Suzanne van de Wiel and Pieto Dijkstra for help with the permission, press releases and subsidy request.
The plaque, the revealing and the canal trip were made financially possible by the Stadsdeel Westerpark district.