They cherish the past På
10 JUN 2011
Today Anton Mikkelsen tends the memorial site, cleans the
stone, cuts the hedge and cultivates the flowers - just like
Mrs. Anna did before him. (Photo: Martin Ravn)
Horsens Folkeblad on 30 April 1996 from J. Nøhr about LAN W4330 - Vestbirk:
They cherish the past
Married couple has tended the memorial for 40 years. By Per Gregersen
It has taken half an hour every week for the latest 40 years - or about 40 full days -
The married couple Anna and Anton Mikkelsen from
Vestbirk, both 81, have tended the memorial stone
- And to start with we took turns tending the
stone and the flowers. Then we hired someone to do it for
On 8 May 1945 a wooden cross was erected at the
site. It soon began falling into decay - and it triggered
Actually you may still find pieces of wreckage in
the ground several hundred metres from the site. And many years ago when we
were draining the ground out there
He is unable to remember the days around the crash in 1943 because he was living in Zealand during the war. Then Anna was working as a cook at the folk high school.
- But we were not told very much. The Germans sealed off all of the area, Anna Mikkelsen states.
The stone is still looking fine, and particularly at this time of the year there are many visitors - particularly Australians. It happens around 9 April, on the day of the crash 21 April, on 4 and 5 May - and then also on Anzac Day, 25 April. This is the day where Australians and New Zealanders commemorate their victims of war, and that is why the Australian Ambassador to Denmark Garry Conroy last week laid a memorial wreath at the stone on Birknæsvej.
As late as last summer the younger brother of Sergeant B. Finnane, one of the airmen who had been shot down, came to Vestbirk to remember his brother.
The Mikkelsens think that it is important to keep the stone as a memorial about a time where conditions were not as peaceful as today. Today there are many young people in Vestbirk who do not have the same relations to the stone as older people - but interest in the past is still found. Anton Mikkelsen has visited the local free school to tell about the tragic background of the memorial stone.
It is still uncertain who will tend the
stone when Anton Mikkelsen one day cannot or will not carry on.