There are 26 American Military cemeteries and memorials around the world. On December 29,1944, the Luxembourg American Cemetery was established as a temporary cemetery for the casualties of the Batlle of the Bulge. By 1946, 8412 soldiers were buried here.
Battle of the Bulge
On December 16, 1944, the Germans launch the last major offensive of the war, an attempt to push the Allied front line west from northern France to northwestern Belgium. Battle of the Bulge, so-called because the Germans created a “bulge” around the area of the Ardennes forest in pushing through the American defensive line, was the largest fought on the Western front. The Germans threw 250,000 soldiers into the initial assault, 14 German infantry divisions guarded by five panzer divisions-against a mere 80,000 Americans. Their assault came in the early morning at the weakest part of the Allied line. An 80-mile poorly protected stretch of hilly, woody forest (the Allies simply believed the Ardennes too difficult to traverse, and therefore an unlikely location for a German offensive). Between the vulnerability of the thin, isolated American units and the thick fog that prevented Allied air cover from discovering the German movement, the Germans were able to push the Americans into retreat. The battle raged for three weeks, resulting in a massive loss of American and civilian life. The United States also suffered its second-largest surrender of troops of the war. More than 7,500 members of the 106th Infantry Division capitulated at one time at Schnee Eifel. The war would not end until better weather enabled American aircraft to bomb and strafe German positions.
Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial
Architects Keally and Patterson of New York City designed the cemetery as we have it today and was dedicated on July 4, 1960. The graves area contains the remains of 5076 American Military dead, including one female army nurse, who lost their lives in the service of their country. Each represented by a headstone made of Lasa Marble. There are 118 Starts of David to indicate soldiers of the Jewish faith.
When visiting the cemetery you will also see a memorial and a chapel. There are also two maps. One map with an explanation of military operations in Western Europe. Another one with an explanation of the combat conducted during the Battle of the Bulge and Rhineland Campaign.
Behind these maps, there are the tablets with the names of 371 missing in action. The remains of these soldiers and airmen were never recovered.
When walking in a cemetery you can see 4 fountains. Bronze dolphins and turtles decorate the pools symbolizing, respectively – Resurrection and Everlasting Life.
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