Remembrance Road (#3)

September - October 2019

On September 12, 1944, the liberation of Limburg (NL) and the Netherlands began in Mesch, in the municipality of Eijsden-Margraten. During the large-scale 75-year commemoration of the Second World War, the provincial road N278 between Margraten and Cadier en Keer (NL), along The Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial was transformed, from September 6 to October 7 2019, into a temporary Remembrance Road thanks to three projects by artist Jonathan Wanders : Remembrance Road (#3), Memorial Wall (#2) and Freedom & Friendship. Remembrance Road and Memorial Wall were renewed versions and a continuation of the successful projects in 2014 and 2015. Freedom & Friendship was a completely new addition.

The Remembrance Road art project was a lively, exciting and temporary monument. It subtly reminded road users and passers-by of the liberation and created awareness in a poetic and modest way. The provincial road N278 (connection Maastricht-Aachen), between Margraten and Cadier en Keer, provides access to The Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial. Like the previous two editions, the third edition of Remembrance Road also transformed this road into a temporary Remembrance (Memorial) Road: white and colored satin ribbons were tied around 386 trees on either side of this 2.5 km long road in Margraten. The white ribbons symbolized the victims of WWII. Together with the white ribbons, the red, blue and yellow ribbons referred to the flags of America, the Netherlands and the province of Limburg. The ribbons around the trees guided visitors on their way to the American cemetery. The repetitive character, the symmetrical and ordered pattern (ribbons on both sides at the same height), and the white colors were inspired by the thousands of white crosses that can be seen in the American cemetery.

Artist Jonathan Wanders about his installations: "We try to keep history alive through monuments and rituals. But because monuments are built to stand the test of time, they lose the power to actually excite the viewer and no longer attract attention. The same goes for rituals, the two minutes of silence – during the National Remembrance Day - seems to be a matter of checking off. More form than substance. You have to keep people excited to keep history alive and show its relevance by making the right connections."


Remembrance Road (#2) (Official Video #1)


Remembrance Road (#2) – from Margraten to Henri-Chapelle (Official Video #2)




Title: Remembrance Road (#3)
Location: Along provincial road N278 between Margraten and Cadier en Keer (NL). Publicly accessible
Process: October 2018 to August 2019
Temporary experience: September 6 to October 7, 2019
Material: Double-sided satin ribbon, white (wide 100 mm), yellow gold (wide 22 mm), dark blue (22 mm) and red (wide 22 mm)
Dimensions: Colored satin ribbons around 386 trees. Total length: 2.5 km, total width: 20 m, ribbons tied at 1.1 m above ground level
Client: Municipality of Eijsden-Margraten
Financing and sponsoring: Embassy of the United States of America the Hague (the Netherlands) and the municipality of Eijsden-Margraten
With special thanks to: the Remembrance Road team (Hanny Wanders-Faarts, Jacinta Kreuger, Marc Heusschen, Robert-Michael Joseph), Embassy of the United States of America the Hague (the Netherlands), municipality of Eijsden-Margraten, The Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial and Province of Limburg
Photos: Ralph Sluysmans, Marc Heusschen
Videos: Jozef Houben, Let it Edit
© Jonathan Wanders