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Holiday concert in DC commemorates Battle of the Bulge

Photos and

newsreel footage of the Battle of the Bulge, which began on Dec. 16, 1944 in Belgium, reveal horrid conditions for the troops in the cold; it makes you shiver just watching it. What began as a massive German counter-offensive became, by the end of January, a decisive victory for the Allies, hastening the end of the war.

Fifty survivors of the Battle of the Bulge will be special guests at a holiday concert on Monday at the Kennedy Center featuring the Choral Arts Society of Washington's 160-voice Chorus, led by Norman Scribner, and the Royal Symphonic Band of the Belgian Guides, conducted by Yves Segers. Belgian carols will be part of this Christmas program.

In a press statement, Belgium's Ambassador to the U.S., Jan Matthysen said: "The atmosphere of Christmas and the values of peace and understanding attached to it are the best way to remember those who have fought so hard to liberate our country during the famous Battle of the Bulge. I am convinced that there is no better way to invoke this atmosphere than by having the magnificent Choral Arts Chorus joined by the memorable Royal Symphonic Band of the Belgian Guides, to perform a tribute worthy of those men."

Also participating in the program will be the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra.

AP PHOTO

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