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Memorial Day Ceremony for PFC Charles “Chuck” Roegiers KIA in 1944 at Bastogne, Belgium (Battle of the Bulge)

Commemoration took place at Eeklo Community Cemetery on may 26th 2016 at 15.00

Charles is a 3th cousin once removed to me.

NEDERLANDS

CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO START SLIDE SHOW

CLICK TO START CHARLES ROEGIERS SLIDE SHOW pictures by Valentyn Mariman

Charles (Karel Lodewijk) was born at Eeklo, Belgium sept. 11 1910 and was killed dec. 17th 1944. He was the son of Victor and Delphina Van Landschoot.

Birth record Charles Roegiers

Charles Roegiers KIA

A US delegation of AOMDA visit Eeklo to bring tribute to the grave of Charles Roegiers who was killed during the Battle of the Bulge.
Today thursday, Memorial Day Weekend (may 26th 2016) with the Belgian branch of the American Overseas Memorial Day Association (AOMDA) pays tribute to the soldiers and airmen who died during the liberation of Europe in World War II.

Not only the three American military cemeteries in our country, but also eight single graves of American soldiers will be visited for a salute. During memorial weekend of 2015 such salute took place at the municipal cemetery of Eeklo for the first time. There lies buried Karel Roegiers.

"On oct 23 1920, Charles, his mother, brother Peter and sister Hortense arrived in NY on board the "SS Mauretaniê". His father Victor arrived 7 years earlier, on nov. 3th 1913 in America and settled in Pottersville, MI before moving to MIshawaka, IN in the 1920's.

In 1935 Delphina Van Landschoot, her son Charles and daughter Hortense returned to Belgium to visit relatives in Eeklo. In early december of that year they returned to the US sailing on the "President Harding" arriving in NY on dec. 11th.

"With the outbreak of World War II he joined the US Army to fight in Europe. Charles served in the 447th AAA AW Bn (Anti Aircraft Artillery Automatic Weapens Batallion) part of the 110st Infantry in the 28st Infantry and 1st Army. His company landed on Omaha Beach D-Day+1 (7-6-1944) near Saint Laurent sur Mer.

Omaha Beach
Foto Kurt De Sutter (Waarschoot)

He died at Consthum which is about 25 km east of Bastogne on December 17, 1944 during the Battle of the Bulge. The family then had the choice to bury him in a US military cemetery or at birth place and it has become the latter. " He was first buried at Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial.

OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT OF HIS DEATH
Western Union

PURPLE HEART for PFC CHARLES ROEGIERS
Purple Heart

HENRY CHAPELLE CEMETERY in 1945
Henry Chapelle cemetery in 1945

Charles Roegiers at Henry Chapelle Cemetery
Charles Roegeirs at Henry Chapelle Cemetery

The coffin of PFC Charles Roegers leaving the home of his brother Victorthe coffin Charles Roegersleavingt the home of his brother

TO THE CEMETERY BY THE RED CROSS
Red Cross

Burial at the Community cemetery in Eeklo august 13th 1948
Charles Roegiers *   US Flag

The US Flag now a precious possession of Nico Roegiers (second nephew) of Charles
The US Flag
Amerikaanse Vlag

Special thanks to Nico Roegiers for sharing these pictures with me.

In early 1952 his mother Delphina returned to Belgium to visit the grave of her son Charles who was than buried in Eeklo. On june 27th she sailed back to the US on board the "SS Veendam" arriving in NY on july 9th 1952. She passed away in 1963 in Mishawaka.

Because AOMDA until recently did not know of the tomb of Roegiers, a salute was never brought to the cemetery in Eeklo. Until yesterday so. After depositing flowers on his grave, Belgian and American national anthem was sung, including The Last Post was sounded and a minute's silence was held.

"This is a rather informal salute, but the intention is to do so from next year in a solemn way," sounded by the Association.


Letter from the Headquarters Office of the Chaplain – 447 AAA An Bn – APO 230 US ARMY
Mrs. Delphine M. Lootens 26-2-1945
816 S Alabama Street
Mishawaka, IN

Since the War Department has already notified you of the unfortunate death of your son, PFC Charles Roegiers, 35537738 of B Battery of this organization, I can only confirm this sad news and mention some of the details. He was killed in action on dec. 17 th in Luxembourg. When i was called to attend him, I noticed that he had a small crucifix about his neck and I could not help thinking that his death was a sacrifice, something like that of his Divine Master, that was offered up for his fellow men. In your son's case it was for the liberty of his fellow men.

At a time like this, I realize too well that anything I am trying to say appear small and trivial in the face of so great lose. I do with, however, to express my sincere synmpathy and that of all the men as well as that of our commanding officer, and add the promise that I shall continue to remember your son at Mass. Very likely, the tought has already occured to you, prompted by your own spirit of faith, that death after all is only a temporary separation of body and soul. One day both will be reunited, just as we too shall be joined together with those we love. Meanwhile, it is in our power to be of great help to those who have gone before us by our prayers and good works, together with the indulgences we may gain for them, so that the bond between us is ever completely severed though it may not be visible.

Realizing my own inability, I shall put you in the care of our Blessed Lady, the Mother of Sorrows, to console you in your present days of sorrow and that She will obtain for you the grace to bear with christian patience and reisgnation that will assure you the happiness of heaven where you and Charles will once more be reunited.
Very Sincerely
Leonard C. Paprecy
Chaplain US Army


World War II Memorial of CHARLES Charles Roegiers Memorial

World War II Memorial of his brother PETER Peter Roegiers Memorial