Journey to Reginald's Grave

On October 1, 1944, my grandma lost her brother, Reginald Bethuy, to World War II. Before he gave the ultimate sacrifice, Reginald fought at Normandy and was wounded - earning the Purple Heart. To this day (at 89 years old) my grandma says to me frequently that their mother "should have brought him home." They never did. My great uncle Reginald is buried in Margraten in The Netherlands at the Netherlands American Cemetery, where every grave and name is adopted by a Dutch family.

Thankfully in their family's absence, a Dutch family has adoped his grave. Every Memorial Day they would go to the Netherlands American Cemetery and keep his memory alive. My grandmother and Mimi, the lady who adopted Reginald's grave, stayed in contact via letters over the years until Mimi passed. Since that day, there has been a disconnect in communication due to Mimi's absence and the fact that my grandparents have, like us all, aged. Because of my grandma's health issues this year, I have taken it upon myself to reconnect with Mimi's family and I am now in touch with her daughter - who I would love to meet face to face!

(A photo of Mimi and her husband at my grandparents' home)

This year my family and I are working toward three things:
1) Have Reginald's funeral flag folded correctly
2) Purchase a wooden flag case to display his flag, Purple Heart, and photograph.
3) Partially finance my trip to Margraten to be present on Memorial Day on my grandma's behalf. I'd like to pay our respects in person for the first time.

(Grandpa getting out the funeral flag to get exact measurements for the case)

While my dad and I still honor Reginald at the local cemetery and town hall every year here in Michigan, it would mean the world to my grandma for me to thank Mimi's daughter in person and be there on that special day.

(My dad and I attending Memorial Day service in MI)


Stephanie Bushey 
New Baltimore, MI

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