Bastogne memorial march and NUTS weekend
On a cold and wintry day in December 1945, Adolf Hitler launched what was to be one of his last major counteroffensives of World War II. After the defeat in Normandy, Hitler was desperate to turn the tide of war in his favor. On Dec. 16, deep in the Ardennes forest, German troops broke through the front lines, creating a bulge-like appearance.
The Battle of the Bulge lasted just shy of two months, with some of the heaviest American casualties during the war. Each year in early December, the Bastogne Memorial March is held to commemorate the Battle of the Bulge and pay tribute to the thousands of soldiers that gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Know before you go
If you’re interested in participating in this year’s event, there are three different walking options: 7, 13 or 22 kilometers. Warm beverages will be provided along the route. Other events include a parade, wreath-laying ceremony and the traditional tossing of nuts, paying homage to General McAuliffe’s infamous response of “Nuts!” to his German counterpart.
After the march, visit the several museums and monuments in the area. The Bastogne War Museum offers interactive displays and exhibits. On Dec. 10, cast members from the HBO series, “Band of Brothers” will be signing autographs and hosting a discussion panel. At the time of publication, tickets for this event were extremely limited and are expected to sell out soon. Step back in time and explore the original 101st Airborne Division headquarters. Enjoy a barbecue, reenactments and discussions with veterans from the greatest generation.