A Large number American soldiers who were killed in Europe during World War II were buried there, thousands of kilometers from home. The Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial is one place where Americans were buried. The Cemetery is situated in the village of Margraten, 10km east of Maastricht. It is the only American cemetery in the Netherlands.
The cemetery has much history behind it. It is near an ancient highway between Cologne in Germany and Boulogne in France. The highway was built in Roman times and used by Julius Caesar. It was used later by other famous military leaders too – the Emperors Charlemagne, Charles V, Napoleon and Wilhelm II.
In 1940 Hitler had used this highway to invade the Netherlands. Four years later, the Allies forced them to retreat from the Netherlands by the same road.
This footage is taken by a drone. We first see the memorial tower. Then we come to the cemetery itself, covering 65.5 acres (26.5 hectares). The cemetery entrance leads to the Court of Honour with its pool, in which the tower is reflected. At the base of the tower is a statue commemorating the suffering of women during the war. The visitor centre is to the right of the tower and a map room to the left. Inside the map room, are three maps which illustrate the operations of the American armed forces. The Tablets of the Missing, along the sides of the court, list 1,722 names. Those individuals that have been since identified are marked with a rosette.
Inside the tower is a chapel. The lights and candlesticks, as well as the flower bowl, are the gift of the government of the Netherlands.
8,301 military dead are buried in the burial area. Their headstones are set in curves, and a path of trees in the middle of them ends in a flagpole. Each Memorial Day (28th May) the dead are commemorated.