LQ-M FOR MOTHER
LQ-M for Mother has been an incredible journey for our family. This started as a way of saying Thank you to six boys who paid the ultimate price serving their country, and ultimately, our freedom. On April 26, 2016 we paid tribute to the crew of LQ-M for Mother, as well as the people of Ten Boer who have been their caretakers since the night they fell from the sky.
Our original plan was to present the community of Ten Boer with a print depicting the moment those six brave men fell from the sky. It turned out to be so much more. For this day we invited Doug Bradford, a well-known artist and friend from Sault Ste. Marie, along with his wife to join us so that they could also be a part of the presentation. Frank Moore was of course also with us as well as Major Terry Wong from the R.C.A.F to carry along the blessing of the R.C.A.F and a number of guests that joined us on our Waterways of the Netherlands & Belgium journey.
During the morning we presented the print to Ten Boer’s Burgemeester, Dhr. A. van der Hoek and the town counsel in what was a wonderful celebration. Frank Moore presented a beautiful book that he had made telling the story of the crew and how their mothers came together to overcome the hardship of their loss. The Burgemeester has pledged to make sure that future school visits will view the book of memory and the print so that the lives of the crew will live on for generations to come.
Following the presentation in the chambers, we all walked to the local cemetery to pay our respects directly to the crew. It was then that Major Terry Wong posthumously presented Flying Officer McCracken his WW II service medals seven decades after his passing. The first tulips were also planted in a new friendship garden just outside the entrance to the cemetery and our family has pledged to donate tulip bulbs every fall so the garden will continue to grow.
Finally, we all joined together for lunch that was hosted in the local community center beside the cemetery to share stories and memories. This is a day that went by far too quickly but will stay in our hearts and memories forever and we would like to express our sincere gratitude to everyone that played a part and made a dream come true.
A limited number of prints from the painting are available with 100% or the proceeds being donated to National Service Dogs to support their Skilled Companion Dog Program for Veterans dealing with P.T.S.D. We invite you to find out more about National Service Dogs, as well as the prints at our home on line, jerryvandyke.com under Our Family, Our Community.
We invite you to learn more about LQ-M for Mother, the crew and the people of Ten Boer, as well as finding out how you can also be a part of their legacy at our home on line, jerryvandyke.com under our family, our community.
If you would like to learn more about LQ-M for mother, please feel free to contact Jeremy Van Dyke at any time; Jeremy@jerryvandyke.com
On April 26 2016 I stood at the grave site to RCAF bomber crew HR864 LQ-M as part of a dedication ceremony for this WWII bomber crew that was downed over the town of Ten Boer, Belgium the night of July 25th, 1943.
I have had three great honours in my military career. The first as a serving member with our Tactical Aviation Unit in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The second being the founder of a 400 Tactical Helicopter Squadron annual drive to bring gifts during the Christmas season to the children at Toronto Sick Kids Hospital. The third was the honour and privilege to be asked to represent the RCAF and join Frank Moore and Jeremy Van Dyke during this moving ceremony in Belgium.
To be at this grave site, to posthumously present Flying Officer McCracken his WW II service medals seven decades after his passing, to salute the brave young men of this Halifax Bomber… they were part of the over 10,000 Canadian aircrew that lost their lives in the Second World War which has allowed our country to find our way out of the valley of the night and climb towards the light of freedom and prosperity that we now enjoy… it was mesmerizing.
Being in Ten Boer with the town council, the townspeople and the local Legion, basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I could most accurately describe what I felt at that moment as “the opposite of loneliness.”
There are many moments that form the building blocks of a person’s life. Moments that we cherish and will always remember as if they had just occurred yesterday. Throwing that touchdown pass as a freshman in high school, that first kiss with the most beautiful woman you could imagine who would be later become your wife, seeing your child emerge into the world and take their first breath… those moments we now enjoy were made possible by the sacrifices of our noble military during the Second World War.
And so I have been given another moment to cherish. A moment in Ten Boer, Holland where I will always remember the crisp Spring air, the warmth of the townspeople’s spirits like rays of sunlight against my skin, and the gratefulness that overflowed that day to the eternal souls of these fine young men that sacrificed their lives.
Thank you Jeremy.
Thank you Frank.
Thank you for a moment that took my breath away.
Major Terry Wong
Royal Canadian Air Force