I recently received a wealth of wonderful information and imagery from the staff of the American Battle Monuments Commission. I'll be sharing it with our readers throughout the Centennial. These images tell a story by themselves. I've just included some text and captions as needed.
From the ABMC Website:
Within the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial in France, which covers 130.5 acres, rest the largest number of our military dead in Europe, a total of 14,246. It is located just east of the village of Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, Meuse, France, approximately 26 miles (42 kilometers) northwest of Verdun. Most of those buried here lost their lives during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive of World War I. The immense array of headstones rises in long regular rows upward beyond a wide central pool to the chapel that crowns the ridge. A beautiful bronze screen separates the chapel foyer from the interior, which is decorated with stained-glass windows portraying American unit insignia; behind the altar are flags of the principal Allied nations. The cemetery required almost two decades to complete. It was dedicated on Memorial Day, 1937.
Click on Images to Enlarge
|Remains of the Fallen Were Gathered from Field Cemeteries|
|En Route to Romagne|
|A Ceremony Was Conducted When the Original Coffins Arrived for Interment|
|General Pershing Inspects the Cemetery in the 1920s|
|The Completed Temporary Cemetery Which Held 23,000 Burials|
|An Exhumation from a Temporary Grave|
Families Could Choose to Have the Fallen Return Home for Burial
The Temporary Burials Were Also Exhumed for Preparation for Final Burial
|The Final Design with Over 14,000 Burials Took Almost 20 Years to Evolve|
|Some of the Final Markers with Photos of the Interred Super-Imposed|
|General Pershing at the Formal Dedication, Memorial Day, 1937|
|World War II GIs Visiting the Cemetery|
|Today the Cemetery Is the Site of Frequent Remembrances|
|Display at the New Visitors Center|
From the ABMC Website:
A renovated, 1,600-square-foot center visitor center reopened in November 2016. Through interpretive exhibits that incorporate personal stories, photographs, films, and interactive displays, visitors will gain a better understanding of the critical importance of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive as it fits into the Great War.
|Watch the Video Never to be Forgotten: Soldiers of the Meuse-Argonne and |
Listen to General Pershing Here
Images selected from: American Battle Monuments Commission Archives, Library of Congress, and the Film Never to be Forgotten: Soldiers of the Meuse-Argonne.