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May 28 2024

Margraten Memorial Day Ceremony Honors US Fallen

Hundreds of visitors attended the U.S. Memorial Day ceremony at the Netherlands American Cemetery in Margraten, 26th May 2024, to remember and honour U.S. service members killed in World War II.  

General Gugliemo Luigi Miglietta, Commander of Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFC Brunssum), represented JFC Brunssum at the event.  

It humbles me to think that, without the courage and sacrifice of these young men, the fate of my country would have been very different.

Other distinguished guests at the ceremony included Rear Admiral L. Brummelaar, Chief of the Military Household and representative of the Dutch Royal Family; Her Excellency Hanke Bruins Slot, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands; Governor Emile Roemer, King’s Commissioner, Province of Limburg; The Honourable Shefali Razdan Duggal, U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands, and Maj Gen Andrew Gainey, Commanding General, U.S. Army 56th Artillery Command.

In total, sixteen wreaths were laid to honour fallen U.S. service members. General Miglietta offered a wreath on behalf of JFC Brunssum and NATO. A combined formation of C-130 and F-35 aircraft performed a “missing man” flyover to conclude the event.

“It humbles me to think that, without the courage and sacrifice of these young men, the fate of my country would have been very different,” said Dutch Foreign Minister Hanke Bruins Slot, in her address to the gathered audience. “Even here, in the Netherlands, we can’t take our freedom for granted, nor our values. And we never should. The war in Ukraine, the largest war on our continent since the Second World War, continues to show us that.”

The Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial is the sole U.S war cemetery in the Netherlands. It is the final resting place of 8,289 U.S. WWII soldiers, many of whom died in the Netherlands during Operation Market Garden in September 1944. Included among those 8,289 Americans are six recipients of the Medal of Honour, the highest U.S. Military award, and four women. In addition to those buried there, the Walls of the Missing records the names of 1,722 missing U.S. soldiers whose final resting place is unknown.

In 2023, the Netherlands American Cemetery in Margraten opened a Visitor's Centre to highlight further the accomplishments and sacrifices of the soldiers laid to rest and commemorated there.


Story by JFC Brunssum Public Affairs Office

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