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The only land we ever asked for was enough land to bury our dead....

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The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in France is located on the site of the temporary American St. Laurent Cemetery, established by the U.S. First Army on June 8, 1944 and the first American cemetery on European soil in World War II. The cemetery site, at the north end of its ½ mile access road, covers 172.5 acres and contains the graves of 9,387 of our military dead, most of whom lost their lives in the D-Day landings and ensuing operations. On the Walls of the Missing in a semicircular garden on the east side of the memorial are inscribed 1,557 names. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.

 

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The Ardennes American Cemetery and Memorial. The 90-acre cemetery contains the graves of 5,329 of our military dead, many of whom died in the 1944 Ardennes winter offensive (Battle of the Bulge). The headstones are aligned in straight rows that form a Greek cross on the lawns and are framed by tree masses. The cemetery served as the location of the Central Identification Point for the American Graves Registration Service of the War Department during much of the life of the Service.

 

 

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The Brittany American Cemetery and Memorial in France covers 28 acres of rolling farm country near the eastern edge of Brittany and contains the remains of 4,410 of our war dead, most of whom lost their lives in the Normandy and Brittany campaigns of 1944. Along the retaining wall of the memorial terrace are inscribed the names of 498 of the missing. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.

 

 

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The Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial site in England, 30.5 acres in total, was donated by the University of Cambridge. It lies on a slope with the west and south sides framed by woodland. The cemetery contains the remains of 3,812 of our military dead; 5,127 names are recorded on the Tablets of the Missing. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified. Most died in the Battle of the Atlantic or in the strategic air bombardment of northwest Europe.

 

 

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The Florence American Cemetery and Memorial site in Italy covers 70 acres, chiefly on the west side of the Greve "torrente." The wooded hills that frame its west limit rise several hundred feet. Between the two entrance buildings, a bridge leads to the burial area where the headstones of 4,402 of our military dead are arrayed in symmetrical curved rows upon the hillside. They represent 39 percent of the U.S. Fifth Army burials originally made between Rome and the Alps. Most died in the fighting that occurred after the capture of Rome in June 1944.

 

 

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At the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial in Belgium, covering 57 acres, rest 7,992 of our military dead, most of whom lost their lives during the advance of the U.S. armed forces into Germany. Their headstones are arranged in gentle arcs sweeping across a broad green lawn that slopes gently downhill. A highway passes through the reservation. West of the highway an overlook affords an excellent view of the rolling Belgian countryside, once a battlefield.

 

 

To the east is the long colonnade that, with the chapel and map room, forms the memorial overlooking the burial area. The chapel is simple but richly ornamented. In the map room are two maps of military operations, carved in black granite, with inscriptions recalling the achievements of our forces. On the rectangular piers of the colonnade are inscribed the names of 450 missing. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified. The seals of the states and territories are also carved on these piers.

 

 

The cemetery possesses great military historic significance as it holds fallen Americans of two major efforts, one covering the U.S. First Army's drive in September 1944 through northern France, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg into Germany, the second covering the Battle of the Bulge. It was from the temporary cemetery at Henri-Chapelle that the first shipments of remains of American war dead were returned to the U.S. for permanent burial. The repatriation program began on July 27, 1947 at a special ceremony at the cemetery when the disinterment began. The first shipment of 5,600 American war dead from Henri-Chapelle left Antwerp, Belgium the first week of October 1947. An impressive ceremony was held, with over 30,000 Belgium citizens attending along with representatives of the Belgium government and senior Americans.

 

 

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The Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial in France covers 113.5 acres and contains the largest number of graves of our military dead of World War II in Europe, a total of 10,489. Their headstones are arranged in nine plots in a generally elliptical design extending over the beautiful rolling terrain of eastern Lorraine and culminating in a prominent overlook feature. Most of the dead here were killed while driving the German forces from the fortress city of Metz toward the Siegfried Line and the Rhine River. Initially, there were over 16,000 Americans interred in the St. Avold region, mostly from the U.S. Seventh Army's Infantry and Armored Divisions and its Cavalry Groups. St. Avold served as a vital communications center for the vast network of enemy defenses guarding the western border of the Third Reich.

 

 

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The Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial, 50.5 acres in extent, is situated in a beautiful wooded area. The cemetery was established on December 29, 1944 by the 609th Quartermaster Company of the U.S. Third Army while Allied Forces were stemming the enemy's desperate Ardennes Offensive, one of the critical battles of World War II. The city of Luxembourg served as headquarters for General George S. Patton's U.S. Third Army. General Patton is buried here.

 

 

Not far from the cemetery entrance stands the white stone chapel, set on a wide circular platform surrounded by woods. It is embellished with sculpture in bronze and stone, a stained-glass window with American unit insignia, and a mosaic ceiling. Flanking the chapel at a lower level are two large stone pylons upon which are maps made of various inlaid granites, with inscriptions recalling the achievements of the American armed forces in this region. On the same pylons are inscribed the names of 371 of the missing. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.

 

 

Sloping gently downhill from the memorial is the burial area containing 5,076 of our military dead, many of whom lost their lives in the "Battle of the Bulge" and in the advance to the Rhine. Their headstones follow graceful curves; trees, fountains and flower beds contribute to the dignity of the ensemble.

 

 

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The Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in the Philippines occupies 152 acres on a prominent plateau, visible at a distance from the east, south and west. It contains the largest number of graves of our military dead of World War II, a total of 17,202, most of whom lost their lives in operations in New Guinea and the Philippines. The headstones are aligned in 11 plots forming a generally circular pattern, set among masses of a wide variety of tropical trees and shrubbery.

 

 

The chapel, a white masonry building enriched with sculpture and mosaic, stands near the center of the cemetery. In front of it on a wide terrace are two large hemicycles. Twenty-five mosaic maps recall the achievements of the American armed forces in the Pacific, China, India and Burma. On rectangular Trani limestone piers within the hemicycles are inscribed the Tablets of the Missing containing 36,285 names. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.

 

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The Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial is the only American military cemetery in the Netherlands. The cemetery site has a rich historical background, lying near the famous Cologne-Boulogne highway built by the Romans and used by Caesar during his campaign in that area. The highway was also used by Charlemagne, Charles V, Napoleon, and Kaiser Wilhelm II. In May 1940, Hitler's legions advanced over the route of the old Roman highway, overwhelming the Low Countries. In September 1944, German troops once more used the highway for their withdrawal from the countries occupied for four years.

 

 

The cemetery's tall memorial tower can be seen before reaching the site, which covers 65.5 acres. From the cemetery entrance the visitor is led to the Court of Honor with its pool reflecting the tower. At the base of the tower facing the reflecting pool is a statue representing a mother grieving her lost son. To the right and left, respectively, are the Visitor Building and the map room containing three large, engraved operations maps with texts depicting the military operations of the American armed forces. Stretching along the sides of the court are Tablets of the Missing on which are recorded 1,722 names. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.

 

 

Within the tower is a chapel. The light fixture in the chapel and the altar candelabra and flower bowl were presented by the government of the Netherlands and by the local Provincial administration. Beyond the tower is a burial area divided into 16 plots, where rest 8,301 of our military dead, their headstones set in long curves. A wide, tree-lined mall leads to the flagstaff that crowns the crest.

 

 

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Capper,

 

I have really enjoyed the pictures you post and now you have out done yourself. This is the most appropriate post I have ever seen in this forum considering what day it is. My niece and granddaughter will be viewing this tomorrow in the hope that they will truly understand what it means to be an American. clapping.gifclapping.gifclapping.gif

 

 

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People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. icon_blank.gif

 

George Orwell (1903 - 1950), (attributed)

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yeah awesome Capper. nuff respect wink.gif

 

 

having been there words cannot describe the feeling of " .....there . . . .are . . . .just . . . . so . . . .many" that you get, but your pictures do beautifully.

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