Must See, Breathtaking Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial

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Luxembourg

Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial

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Sloping away from the entrance of the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial is 17 acres of the terraced cemetery where 5,075 service members lie. Many of these soldiers lost their lives in the Battle of the Bulge and in advance to the Rhine River.

Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial

The Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial, located in Hamm, Luxembourg City, is a historical treasure. The cemetery is 2.5 kilometers southwest of Findel Airport is worth visiting and experiencing this beautiful resting place for American WWII soldiers.

Luxembourg is a small European country surrounded by Belgium, France, and Germany. Mostly rural, the dense Ardennes forest in the north, the Mullerthal region to the east with rocky gorges and the Moselle river valley to the southeast, make Luxembourg a beautiful country. Farmland, dairy cows, and small communities create a quaint, romantic landscape; it is the definition of pastoral. Hard to believe this is where some of the hardest fights of WWII took place.

The last major German offensive on the Western Front during World War II happened here. The Allied invasion launched through the densely forested Ardennes region of Wallonia in eastern Belgium, northeast France, and Luxembourg marked the beginning of the end and one of the final campaigns of World War II.

Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial

When looking across the fields, I realized these are people I am looking at, not, headstones, but people. People who died for me, who will never see the USA again. My feelings are overwhelming, they rushed through my mind and flooded my heart. Still, today, looking at these photos, the feelings come rushing back.

Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial

General Patton rallied his men to persevere beyond all odds. Before he went back to the States, he had a car accident. General Patton wanted his final resting place and burial to be with his beloved men. His request was granted. He died in Germany and is buried at the Luxembourg American Cemetery with his men in a simple grave. No one expected he would never see the US again. Now, he rests here faithfully with his men.

Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial

Go Early

The day was early; the cemetery had only been open about an hour. As the light changed, the marks and shadows, crossing the lawn, the dark shadows in the field, revealed gravestones. At the moment of the photograph, I realized what I was seeing. These were souls who died, for others, without regard for their dreams.

The sun was moody as clouds covered the sky. The air was fresh and crisp. The morning began like any other day but soon turned sobering and somber.

Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial

Now, this is the resting place for American soldiers who fought the Germans. This campaign changed the direction of WWII. Eventually, after many hard-fought battles, the Allied Forces were victorious in Europe.

grave stones luxembourg american cemetery

So Many Fallen Soldiers

In every direction, the vastness of the cemetery continues to grow, multiplying my emotions, until I couldn’t walk, but, turned me to look in every direction to fully comprehend the size of the memorial.

service people graves

Stars and Crosses

No matter where I looked there were more markers. All these men and women, sacrificed so I could visit Europe. The unfulfilled lives that lie here, the sheer number of American’s who didn’t make it home, made me realize that without these people, whom I have never met, I wouldn’t be here today. If it wasn’t for their sacrifice for me, I couldn’t be a tourist today.

Emotions

I felt completely overwhelmed with sadness, gratefulness, and reverence for the gift of freedom I have because of them. Indeed this cemetery, with the light, reflecting on the white markers, will stop you and make you feel overwhelming gratitude.

luxembourg american cemetery

The Chapel

The private chapel is open to anyone to use. Inside there are murals and a spectacular ceiling mosaic and gorgeous inlays on the floor. The unguarded chapel invites me to enter, the massive bronze doors begin to open, and requires intention. Enter and enjoy the solitude of this sanctuary.chapel luxembourg amercian cemetery

Free Tours

If you are interested, there are free national parks tours that you might want to join. Most of the tours, accept walk-ins, but, if you want to schedule a tour, it is the parks preference to request tours in advance.

Security

As I left, I saw a guard, which I hadn’t noticed when I entered. Protection is discrete, strategically placed throughout the memorial and secures all parts of the cemetery. They may ask to look into your bag, so don’t be surprised if a guard walks up and requests to look into your bag.

battle of the bulge memorial

German Military Cemetery

As we left, we noticed a sign. We drove up to it and looked at it more closely. I asked my German friend, Silvia if she had ever been to the German Military Cemetery She hadn’t, though she and her American, former military husband, had been here many times. They regularly pay their respects here, during holidays and sometimes they decorate the headstones and visit when guests are in town.

Our curiosity got the best of us. We read the sign realizing, we had to hunt a little more to find this other Luxembourg graveyard, dedicated to Germans WWII Battle of the Bulge.

These soldiers were sons, brothers, cousins, and fathers loved by their families, just like the soldiers at the American Cemetery and Memorial. To the victor goes the spoils and histories account of their fall. German soldiers, under other circumstances, may have been friends to the American’s they fought, as survivors said, in HBO’s Band of Brothers. If you haven’t watched this series, I highly recommend it to understand the history of this area.

German Armies Cemetery and Memorial

We went on, hunting for the German Armies Cemetery and Memorial and found it a few miles down the road. My next post will describe and show what we saw as we looked for this little-known memorial.

German Armies Cemetery and Memorial

Graveyards, Ghost Tours – Burial Sites

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Kate started traveling for work. Now with grown children, who are travelers, she travels for pleasure looking for great travel experiences. Currently, her home is in Bellevue, WA, and lives with her cat Angelina Jolie. She has a Bachelor's of Fine Arts, Studio Arts and Art History from the University of Colorado, an MBA and Master of Arts, Management. Her favorite things are exploring new cultures, traveling the world, creating a painting and sour or spicy foods.

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