HERMAN VAN VEEN SPEAKING
‘Imagine: a little Afghan boy, scarcely three years old, fleeing bombardements.
He has nothing to eat, hardly anything to drink. THOSE children need a voice, their own place.
I have always wondered why government leaders gather round graves of unknown soldiers.
That is undoubtedly right, but in wars and conflicts we do not only mourn soldiers.
Others, amongst whom children, also suffer, while they often have nothing to do with this conflict.
Precisely for these innocent children there is not enough attention. We do care about those silent victims,
about whom governments do not care and for whom there is no place.
The Monument for the Unknown Child will be such a place.
A place where we commemorate the suffering that is inflicted upon children worldwide.
This monument will be an unforgettable place. An impressive place with those big stones upon which children will be able to climb.
We would like to see a little miracle happen, a place that belongs to everyone, that belongs to the world,
surely that is a beautiful plan?’
Source: Yarden Magazine 4-2001
”When you are asked to contribute to the goals of Roses for Children, you can not do otherwise then say yes. So I said 'yes', when I was asked to become the chairman of this foundation.In the same way as I said yes when I was asked to arrange a huge stone from Israel, or to lead the celebration on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the Monument and I know that in future I will say 'yes' more frequently to Mirjam and Sil. Maybe I also sometimes say 'no', but then I will explain this well.
Being the chairman sounds weighty, but to me it just means that I will help achieve the foundation's goals, with the placement of the last stone in the Monument in Arnhem as the apotheosis .
With the placement of that last stone a monument that is unique in the world will be realized .
Thousands of tons of stone moved on thousands and thousands of miles. Every stone a pooling of energy, by thousands of years of history, life and death, joy and sorrow.
And all that energy and history bundled, concentrated on that one spot in Arnhem, with invisible threads attached to all their places of origin.
The mother and her children from all over the world."
Mirjam van Oort, secretaris
DROOM IN UITVOERING
"Het Monument voor het Onbekende Kind vertelt over kinderen, over dood, over leven. De dood van een kind verandert je kijk op het leven. Kinderen horen niet te sterven. Ik heb geen kind verloren en daar ben ik dankbaar voor. Wel heb ik als kinderverpleegkundige in het Radboud ziekenhuis vaak meegemaakt dat anderen afscheid moesten nemen; de noodzaak, de moed en de pijn om een kind los te laten. Ik heb onmacht gevoeld, verdriet gedeeld. Het heeft mij voor altijd veranderd.
Sil van Oort, penningmeester
UNDER THE SPELL OF...
"Since the beginning, in 1999, I am involved in the project of the Monument for the Unknown Child. In all those years, the work for Roses for Children became my life's work.
I don't know exactly what it is, what keeps me under the spell of those unknown children...? Fortunately, I have never lost a child, but I was there when friends of mine lost children, it is such an intens grief, it hurts so much.
In my life, children have an important, warm place and this will always be. For years I make mourning cards and paintings for children and I illustrate books, which have to do with bereavement for children.
The activities for Roses for Children give me a wonderful opportunity to live my involvement with children around the world.
What we do, is only a drop in the ocean, but sometimes even that drop makes a world of difference.
Especially abroad, I often have the feeling that we actually contribute to a better situation for children. The mediating role we have, the listening ear we give, the attention and, above all the confidence to shine some extra light their world.
Putting this together with Mirjam, my sister, feels quite right. We're going on the same stream, with the same passion and enthusiasm.
We try to solve problems as challenges. Together we experience sometimes very exciting moments.
Lots of things we never did before, but there is a first time for everything and it is a huge supports to be together and to say: 'Come on, let's go for it”.
Time and time again, I learn so much. I think it's fantastic , it's a gift that I may do this.
Was it coincidence that we met Herman? I don't think so.
It was meant to be!