Wreathlaying Ceremony on 4 May
Photo and text:
Niels Nørgaard Nielsen På
13 APR 2021
The plot in
Aarestrup Churchyard with a wreath
See the wreath in 2013.
Guilonard's headstone in 2012.
Written on 22 May 2012:
Today I talked to a member of the parochial church council of Aarestrup
Church. He related that
every year on 4 May a ceremony is held in the church on the occasion
of the end of WW2 in Denmark, the evening when the Germans surrendered. (Read
After this ceremony red,
white and blue flowers are placed in the porch at a memorial tablet to
Nielsen who was executed by the Germans in 1944, because he was very active
resistance movement. He was the son of forest ranger Nielsen. The
coffins with the crew of
at forest ranger Nielsen's in the days between the time when they were found
in the forest
and the funeral on
22 June 1947.
Subsequently a memorial ceremony is held at
the graves. First a person from Aarestrup selected
by the vicar places a wreath at the plot. Then a short memorial speech is
held and a hymn is sung.
A very special hymn which is often used at funerals. (Altid frejdig når du
går - Always dauntless
when you tread -). That hymn is also connected to some events during WW2 in
After this ceremony a meeting is held in
Aarestrup Village Hall. Here we sing a couple of hymns
and have a cup of coffee or tea with some cake and a chat.
The wreath remains at the plot till has withered away.
The ceremony in Aarestrup Church has been held every year since 1945 in the
evening of 4 May.
We do not know exactly when the tradition with a subsequent ceremony at the
graves started, but
we know with certainty that it has been held every year in the latest
48 years. Most likely the ceremony with wreathlaying and singing of the hymn
has taken place every year since 1948.
The plot is kept and paid by Aarestrup Church. The headstones are kept by
War Graves Commission. The wreath placed at the plot on 4 May is paid by
The plot is protected and is to be maintained in perpetuity. See
floral tributes 2020.