The Ones We Left Behind
Memorial Day is a day to honor American servicemembers who gave their lives in wars far away. Many remain on foreign soil or at sea. The following American cemeteries in other countries are maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission. They contain remains of servicemembers who died defending American ideals in the last 100 years. Most, represented by simple grave markers or whose names appear on memorial walls listing those whose bodies were not recovered, died as the result of hostile action. There are 123,548 Americans buried in these cemeteries, and 60,020 named missing.
The following list will not stir pleasant memories and may be emotional for some, but we must never forget.
Aisne-Marne, France: World War I 2,289 grave markers plus 1,060 named missing*
Ardennes, Belgium: World War II 5,329 grave markers plus 462 named missing
Brittany, France: 4,410 grave markers plus 498 named missing
Brookwood, England: 468 grave markers plus 563 named missing
Cambridge, England: 3,812 grave markers plus 5,127 named missing, mostly from the Battle of The North Atlantic
Epinal, France: 5,525 grave markers plus 424 named missing
Flanders Field, Belgium: 368 grave markers plus 43 named missing
Florence, Italy: 4,402 grave markers plus 1,409 named missing
Henri-Chapelle, Belgium: 7,992 grave markers plus 450 named missing
Lorraine, France: 10,489 grave markers plus 444 named missing
Luxembourg, Luxembourg: 5,076 grave markers plus 371 named missing
Manila, the Philippines: 17,202 grave markers plus 36,285 named missing
Meuse-Argonne, France: 14,246 grave markers plus 954 named missing
Netherlands, Netherlands: 8,301 grave markers plus 1,722 named missing
Normandy, France: 9,387 grave markers plus 1,557 named missing
North Africa: 2,841 grave markers plus 3,724 named missing
Oise-Aisne, France: 6,012 grave markers plus 241 named missing
Sicily, Italy: 7,861 grave markers plus 3,095 named missing
Somme, France: 1,844 grave markers plus 333 named missing
St. Mihiel, France: 4,153 grave markers plus 284 named missing
Suresnes, France: 1,541 grave markers plus 974 named missing (WWI) plus 24 Unknowns (WWII)
* Some names on Memorial Walls are marked to indicate persons whose remains have since been identified.
One national cemetery on American soil should be added to the list, because of the large number of service members interred there as the result of combat in the Pacific during World War II. The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii has 34,000 grave markers plus 28,788 named missing; those interred there include remains of servicemembers from the Pacific Theatre relocated from various islands, including American prisoners of war who died in Japanese prisons. This cemetery also includes veterans from Korea and Vietnam.
There are 146 National Cemeteries in the United States. They are mostly reserved for veterans and families of veterans. Many hold remains of servicemembers who died in wars. There are also untold numbers of municipal and church cemeteries throughout the United States; virtually all are the final resting place of veterans who served in the armed forces of the United States, many who paid the ultimate price in wars.
Since World War II, the United States has brought home her dead, at least those whose remains can be found. Most were very young when they died.