US military cemetary MARGRATEN, The Netherlands
The American Battle Monuments
(ABMC) was established by Congress in 1923 to commemorate the service,
and sacrifice of U.S. armed forces where they have served overseas since 1917, and within the U.S. when directed by public law.
The ABMC commemorative mission
is reflected in 24 overseas military cemeteries that serve as resting places
for almost 125,000 American war dead;
on Tablets of the Missing that memorialize more than 94,000 U.S. servicemen and women; and through 25 memorials, monuments and markers.
The Commission administers, operates,
and maintains 24 permanent American burial grounds on foreign soil. Presently
there are 124,913 U.S. war dead
interred at these cemeteries, 30,921 of World War I, 93,242 of World War II and 750 of the Mexican War. Additionally 6,149 American veterans and others
are interred in the Mexico City and Corozal American Cemeteries.
One of these beautifully kept cemetaries is located in MARGRATEN, The Netherlands.
Every year, the closest Sunday
to American Memorial Day is chosen for a large commemmorative ceremony at Margraten
Thousands of Dutch citizens join Americans in paying their respect to the servicemen buried and named here. To fully appreciate the underlying feelings of the
Dutch citizens of Margraten and surrounding area it is imperative to read the book by Captain Joseph J. Shomon book, "Crosses In The Wind". The book
relays the work of the 611th Graves Registration Company in WWII.
(The Dutch translation is apparently still available from the Rabo bank in Margraten)
Visiting the cemetary is no obligation - it's a way of life. It's a day of honoring, commemmorating and, strangely enough, one of celebrating.
****Celebrating freedom ** LEST WE FORGET!****
Every year, members of the Screaming
Eagles of WWII Foundation attend too.
Over the years, a few of the names on the crosses, Stars of David and on the Tablets of the Missing have become more familiar because of the story behind them.
You'll find a list of them here (updated July 2009)
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