American War Cemetery "Margraten"
The Margraten Cemetery is
the only American Military Cemetery in The Netherlands; situated near the southeast limit
of the country in the village of Margraten, and 6 miles east of Maastricht, on the main
highway to Aachen (Germany).
The tall memorial tower can be
seen before reaching the site which covers 65 1/2 acres.
From the cemetery entrance the visitor is led to the Court of Honor with its pool reflecting the tower.
To the right and left, respectively, are the visitors' building and the museum containing three large
engraved maps with texts depiciting the military operations of the American Armed Forces.
Stretching along the side of the Court are the two Walls of the Missing on which are recorded the names
of 1,722 who gave their lives in the service of their Country but who rest in unknown graves.
The site was liberated on 13 September 1944 by troops of the US 30th Infantry Division,
which were advancing northeastward toward Ruhr river in Germany, as part of the US First Army.
A battlefield cemetery, one of the first to be used for the interment of American soldiers who fell on German soil,
was established here on 10 November 1944 by the US Ninth Army.
Beyond the tower containing the
chapel is the 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 which crowns the crest.
Here rest 8301 military dead, representing
43 percent of those who were originally buried in this,
and in other temporary cemeteries in the region.
Most of them gave their lives in the airborne and ground operations to liberate eastern Holland,
during the advances into Germany over the Ruhr and across the Rhine, and in air-operations over these regions.
" Here we and all who shall hereafter
live in freedom will be reminded that to these men and their comrades we owe a dept to be
paid with grateful remembrance of their sacrifice and with the high resolve that the cause
for which they died shall live"
© 2000 The Hins