This year marks 75 years of Dutch liberation since the end of World War II. As the Kingdom of the Netherlands commemorates its liberation, Dutch and American historians are joining together to research the 172 African-American soldiers who died in the war and are buried in the Netherlands American Cemetery in Margraten.
The Dutch are forever grateful for the sacrifices Americans made during World War II to secure their freedom. The Netherlands American Cemetery bears witness to this gratitude, as Dutch families have adopted the graves of all 8,291 soldiers buried there.
During Black History Month, the Dutch Embassy held an event to discuss the Black Liberators of the Netherlands project. Dutch and American historians revealed their research thus far into the families of the Black Liberators to gather information on who these soldiers were before the war. This research will be used to fully tell the story of all the Americans who liberated the Netherlands.
Researchers have found the relatives of 24 soldiers. One of the descendants, Mrs. Taliaferro-Bunch, and World War II veteran Dr. James Baldwin (both of Washington, D.C.) participated in the event. Dr. Baldwin discussed his experience as an African-American soldier during the war, and Mrs. Taliaferro-Bunch discussed her Great Uncle Lynwood Taliaferro, who is buried at the cemetery in Margraten, the Netherlands.
The presentation took place on February 6 at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Below are the videos from the event.