Marta Barandiy, Benoit Lutgen are Laying Flowers to the Monument of the General McAuliffe in Bastogne

Marta Barandiy, Benoit Lutgen are Laying Flowers to the Monument of the General McAuliffe in Bastogne

Anthony Clement “Nuts” McAuliffe was a senior United States Army officer who earned fame as the acting commander of the 101st Airborne Division defending Bastogne, Belgium, during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. He is celebrated for his one-word reply to a German surrender ultimatum: “Nuts!”.

Ukrainians share the same spirit of resistance. That was the reason why as a Ukrainian I was invited to share this moment with Mr. Lutgen as well as all the American Ambassadors with seat in Brussels and the Ambassador of Germany to Belgium.

Honored and grateful to the mayor of Bastogne Benoit Lutgen for the invitation to represent Ukraine in the ceremony of commemoration of the Battle of the Bulge together with Ambassador of the United States to Belgium, Ambassador of the United States to Luxembourg, Ambassador of the United States to NATO, Charge d’affaires of the United States to the EU, US general – Christopher Cavoli who is Supreme Allied Commander Europe!THe Battle of the Bulge, also known as the Ardennes Offensive, was the last major German offensive campaign on the Western Front during World War II. The battle lasted from 16 December 1944 to 28 January 1945, towards the end of the war in Europe. It was launched through the densely forested Ardennes region between Belgium and Luxembourg. Almost 20000 American soldiers gave their lives here for the victory of the Allies. 3000 civilian casualties. During the battle it was offered to the Allied forces to give up:On December 22, the American troops were sent an ultimatum from the German forces outside of the town, demanding “the honorable surrender” of the town within two hours. General McAuliffe reply was brief and succinct:

“To the German Commander:

N U T S !

The American Commander

Nuts are the symbol of resistance in Bastogne. Together with the Mayor, the US Ambassadors and the veterans I was honored to throw the nuts from the balcony of the City Council to the people of Bastogne who gathered there to commemorate the victims and remember the passion of resistance. People of Bastogne was the one that collected humanitarian and protective aid for Ukraine in the beginning of March. Together with Benoit Lutgen we brought the aid to Lviv, and till now he supports Ukraine and Ukrainians. It was very symbolic for us today to be next to you, Benoit, to commemorate victims, to remember what it takes for the victory to prevail, and to enforce the spirit of resistance of Ukrainian people who today in the conditions of cold winter fight for Europe to live in peace and prosperity.