Fallen American soldiers of WWII receive a face in the Netherlands

Elizabethtown, KY

Almost 70 years after the end of World War II, a new Dutch project will remember the thousands of soldiers who have been buried in the American War Cemetery and Memorial Netherlands in Margraten, Netherlands.

This is the year in which the Netherlands celebrates and commemorates the 70th anniversary of its liberation and Operation Market Garden. The Dutch non-profit organization Stichting Verenigde Adoptanten Amerikaanse Oorlogsgraven (Foundation United Adopters of American War Graves) will conduct a campaign to collect the photos of the American soldiers who sacrificed their lives during World War II and who found their final resting place in Margraten. The project is called “The Faces of Margraten.”

It is a unique tribute to the men and women who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of the Netherlands and the rest of Europe. Our goal is locate as many relatives of these fallen heroes as possible so that every American soldier interred will now have a face.

The American War Cemetery and Memorial Netherlands at Margraten is one of the 24 overseas American cemeteries maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission and the only American cemetery in the Netherlands. There have been 8,301 soldiers buried in the cemetery and the names of 1,722 missing American soldiers have been memorialized on the Walls of the Missing there. The soldiers buried there were, for example, killed during Operation Market Garden in the Netherlands in September 1944 and during the Allied push into Nazi-Germany. Almost 70 years after the end of war, all of the graves has been adopted by grateful citizens from throughout the Netherlands. The “Adopt a Grave” program began in 1945 and now wants to update their efforts by researching and obtaining bios and photos of their adopted American G.I.

The foundation will cooperate with adopted parents, the soldiers' relatives and veterans' associations to collect as many photos as possible, In May 2015, these photos will be put at the graves as a unique memorial tribute. By adopting and collecting personal information and photos on these American war dead, the foundation will affect local Dutch citizens and youth around the world making them aware of the human cost of war. This also will reflect the longstanding friendships between the Netherlands and the United States and their citizens.

If your family has a loved one who died during WWII and is buried in the American Cemetery at Margraten please, contact us and meet your family veteran’s adoptive parents.

All information and photos can be sent to our website contact: www.thefacesofmargraten.com.

« Previous story
Next story »