WWII Veterans Bob Bentz and Carroll Snoke, after lowering the flag at Margraten, The Netherlands.
Memorial Day – One solitary day to recognize that over 1,000,000 American military personnel have died in combat since the Revolutionary War…fighting to gain freedom, restore freedom, or preserve it.
The melancholy strain of “Taps” will be played at cemeteries and services in all 50 states …. and will echo across 25 cemeteries on foreign soil where 125,000 of our military dead are buried or listed on the Walls of the Missing.
The American Battle Monuments Commission is the guardian of these international burial grounds. ABMC’s cemeteries, located in France, England, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Philippines, Tunisia, Panama, and Mexico will host Memorial Day Ceremonies throughout the weekend. These commemorative sites include Americans from all ranks and walks of life that fought and died side-by-side.
Manila American Cemetery in the Philippines is the largest ABMC cemetery, with 17,202 burials and 36,286 names listed on the Walls of the Missing. The smallest cemetery is Flanders Field Cemetery in Belgium, with 368 burials and 43 names listed on the Walls of the Missing.
ABMC staff have assisted us many times… allowing our WWII Veterans to lower the flag, helping tour members locate the grave site of a loved one, and arranging a wreath-laying…. to name a few.
The cemeteries are beautiful, peaceful and serene, rows of alabaster headstones, with no adornment for rank or branch of service; only the headstones of Medal of Honor recipients differ by the gold leaf of the lettering and the MOH Star.
Our web-page banner, above, is a photo of the granite map at the Normandy American Cemetery, the most recognizable of the cemeteries.
We’ve been blessed to work with the staff of several ABMC cemeteries in Europe.
On this Memorial Day, Specialty Tours salutes the men and women and the work of the ABMC.