William Allen Knowlton
West Point, 1943JAN
Be Thou At Peace
Posted by Niek Hendrix on August 21, 2008:
In October 1944, General Knowlton, who was a lieutenant in the 87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron Mechanized/7th Armored Division back then, had his headquarters in the townhall of Nederweert in the south of the Netherlands. The 87th patrolled the area along the canals that formed the frontline at the time. My village Ospel that is near Nederweert was no mans land at the time. On the 27th of October the 87th helped to stop a huge German attack over the canals and did a hell of a job. General Knowlton has always inspired me to keep the memory of the 7th Armored Division alive. In May 2007 a monument was erected in Ospel as a tribute to the 49 men of the 7th Armored that were killed in October and in the beginning of November while liberating my village. I was able to talk to the General while attending the 7th armored reunions and I will never forget him. Although the Genaral was not able to come over to see the Ospel monument you better believe that he knew everything about it. In September 2008 a new monument will be erected in Overloon in the Netherlands where the 7th Armored Division was engaged in heavy combat in the beginning of October 1944. The General also inspired me to work on 2 more monuments in Meijel and Ransdaal in the Netherlands. I know many personal stories of civilians in my village who were saved by men of the 87th, risking their own lives. The General's actions and the actions of the men of the 87th will be an everlasting motivation to keep their memory alive.
OUT of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud,
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul
William Ernest Henley. 1849–1903
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