BASTOGNE, Belgium — Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) commemorate the 79th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne, Belgium, Dec. 16, 2023, with a parade through the city center. The 101st soldiers included World War II veterans, local Belgian bands, members of the Belgian army, soldiers from the Benelux countries, Belgian schoolchildren and local residents.
The Battle of the Bulge occurred in the winter of 1944 as the 101st attempted to secure and defend the city of Bastogne, which was besieged by German forces. The airborne soldiers were able to repel the German attack and withstand German artillery fire until Lt. Gen. George S. Patton’s Third Army broke through the German lines and covered the 101st soldiers. Lieutenant General Patton and Brigadier General. Gen. Anthony McAuliffe, commander of the 101st Airborne Division, is considered a hero for saving the town of Bastogne from destruction.
That legacy of service and sacrifice has not been forgotten by those who serve in the 101st Regiment today. Col. Trevor Felkel, commander of the 1st Brigade Combat Team (Bastogne), 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), never forgot the importance of his unit’s namesake.
“It is an absolute privilege and honor to represent the great soldiers of the Bastogne Brigade,” said Voelkel. “It’s truly amazing to meet World War II veterans, hear their stories, and understand their sacrifices and how they relate to the sacrifices of soldiers and families today. It’s an opportunity and a great experience.”
“In Bastogne, it’s a community within a community,” Voelkel said. “And what you’ll notice is that they haven’t forgotten that, and it’s part of the social fabric here. They still remember it through their relatives and their own stories.” “When the Americans and Allies came to liberate Belgium after years under the Nazi regime, we all need to remember what the world went through so that it never happens again. It is important to keep