Volksmarch column, Sept. 20, 2013
Let’s wish the Ramstein Roadrunners good luck as the club takes a bus Saturday to the volksmarch in Horn, Germany. After the walk, the club will visit St. Goar for a wine festival and the Rhine in Flames fireworks display. St. Goar is a pretty little city with plenty of cafes and restaurants where you can sample the wines.
The walk in Horn starts at 7:30 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday. You can choose among six-, 10- or 20-kilometer trails. The event is for IVV credit only.
Meanwhile, there is another type of fire activity Saturday at Poppenhausen, Germany, west of Schweinfurt: the first torch walk of the season. The regular volksmarch takes place both Saturday and Sunday, but starting between 7 and 8 p.m. Saturday you can do a five-kilometer route with torches. You can buy torches at the start hall, but it’s always good to bring a flashlight as backup.
The regular walks start Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday between 7 a.m. and noon. The street address for the start hall is Rudolph-Werner-Strasse 1. A watch is the prize. Let’s hope this is the first of many torch walks this year. Check stripes.com/go/ volksmarch for reminders about torch walk safety.
Another of our favorite walks takes place in Luxembourg this weekend. Sunday you can walk in Wiltz, the site of desperate fighting during World War II’s Battle of the Bulge. A walk through the countryside will give you an appreciation of the difficult terrain the soldiers had to contend with during the fighting. When you add the terrible winter conditions, you can almost imagine their ordeal.
The start time is between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. for the six-, 10- and 15-kilometer routes. If you want to do 20 kilometers, you have to start before 1 p.m. Expect hills!
Wiltz also has a beer museum that is open Saturday, so we’re thinking about visiting the museum, spending the night and walking Sunday morning. We’ll let you know how it goes.
A couple of Saturdays ago, Bob went to the walk in Gouvy, Belguim. It was a nice walk through the countryside; a bit overcast and misty, but the rain held off. His next stop was at the dedication of a memorial to the 82nd Airborne Division at Rencheax, Belgium. About 200 people attended.
A U.S. Air Force Color Guard was there, along with re-enactors wearing WWII uniforms, Belgian veterans’ groups, the town mayor and many others who wanted to make sure the sacrifices made almost 70 years ago during the Battle of the Bulge are never forgotten. For several days the men of the 82nd kept the bridge at Rencheaux open so about 10,000 American G.I.s could withdraw across the river. Onee they were across, the bridge was blown up so the enemy could not continue to pursue the Americans. This action bought very valuable time for the Allies to re-establish their lines and then start to drive the enemy back.
Bob feels it was an honor to attend this ceremony. Being asked to participate in the ceremony by placing a small American flag at the monument was an extra honor. Special thanks to the C-47 Club for their untiring efforts to honor the 82nd Airborne Division.
E-mail volksmarch information to email@example.com. Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09752.