In this book are no tales of heroism, no portrayal of tragic experiences and no descriptions of personal sorrow. This tells a different story. The story of what man can establish in spite of tragic experiences and personal sorrow.
All the weary have since found their refuge at the BNMO – the Union of Dutch Military War and Service Victims – founded three months after the liberation of the Netherlands in august of 1945.
The BNMO is not simply a veterans club anymore. Of course, they wanted to continue meeting due to their shared experiences, but they wanted more: they wanted to be an interest group, to stand up for their wishes and desires, to fight against injustices, given that any missing provisions would be filled, and they wanted in all dignity to be and remain relentless in reaching their goal.
The BNMO has achieved a lot, if not everything, and in an “en passant” manner has done more than is to be usually expected of a veterans organization. There, courage courage was needed. There, creativity was valuable and ingenuity was and is still one of the strongest characteristics of the BNMO. This book testifies to this, as a token of honor to a union that out of absolutely nothing has built something that may, out of sheer respect, stand as a role model to others.
This book is no testimony to self-glory, because the BNMO prioritizes working together, in the individual environment but also towards other national and international sister organizations. We only wish to demonstrate that one has only been defeated once one gives up. The members of the BNMO have never, even after their doleful, life changing experiences, given up.
They have, in the wake of pain, displayed their willpower. It was an intriguing experience to be allowed to document its effects.
(translated by Siwa Versnel)
This post is also available in: Dutch