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U.S. Memorial Day Ceremony at Margraten

Brunssum, The Netherlands – Sunday 30 May, representatives of the American Battle Monuments Commission, the Superintendent and staff of the Netherlands American Cemetery, accompanied by local and regional officials, paid tribute to American service personnel who sacrificed their lives in World War II in pursuit of peace and freedom in a COVID-compliant ceremony at the Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten.

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Dignitaries in attendance included: Representative of the King of the Netherlands (Rear Admiral Ludger Brummelaar); Acting King's Commissioner of Limburg Province (Acting Governor Johan Remkes); Amsterdam Consul General, Ms. Jennifer DeWitt Walsh; Chief of Defence of the Netherlands (General Onno Eichelsheim); Supreme Allied Commander Europe (General Tod Wolters); Commander JFC Brunssum (General Jӧrg Vollmer); City of Eijsden-Margraten (Acting Mayor Sjraar Cox); Acting Superintendent of the Netherlands American Cemetery (Mr Johnny Matherne).

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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 that was 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 65.5 acre site. From the cemetery entrance visitors are 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 visitors building and the map room containing three large, engraved operations maps with texts depicting the military operations of the American armed forces.

Story by Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum Public Affairs Office

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