“I had my high school diploma in one hand and military orders in the other hand. I was drafted into the United States Army after graduating from high school! The year was 1943 and we were embattled in WWII. Seventy-six years later, I find that I am on my way to the Netherlands and I’m 97 years old!” said Pastor Matthew Southhall Brown, Sr.
The American Embassy in The Hague announced to the National Committee about Pastor Brown’s visit to the Netherlands (aka, Holland,) in June 2019. Mrs. Mieke Kirkels, Dutch Researcher, Author and Black Liberators Historian, extended the invitation to Pastor Brown. The committee has organized the official start of events to celebrate 75 years of peace and Liberation from German attacks. Events begin August 31, 2019 and continue into 2020.
Pastor Brown has been invited to commemorate and memorialize 32 Negro volunteer infantry men buried in the American Cemetery at Margraten. He will bring a tribute to Negro soldiers who fought in the Netherlands. He will participate in talks related to his experiences in the segregated U. S. Army as well the temporary desegregation ordered by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, U.S. Army and Allied Commander of Allied forces.
Pastor Brown is amongst seven WWII veterans who will also be celebrated and honored for their bravery in the European Theater. He will speak to people from the Netherlands and Europe; historians, public officials, educators, children and the King and Queen of the Netherlands. It is an International event.
Pastor Brown will be accompanied by one of his sons, Leonard A. Brown and grandson, Eddie Lamar Southall Jones. They eagerly await their departure, August 28th and will return, September 6th.