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HENRI-CHAPELLE AMERICAN CEMETERY AND MEMORIAL

Henri-Chapelle

American Cemetery and Memorial Henri-Chapelle is a very special cemetery to us just like Ardennes. We both adopted several graves here and it really is a special place to us. A cemetery that is the last resting place of 7992 soldiers and also contains 450 names in the Walls of the Missing. Most of these men died during the advance of the US Army into Germany. The area was liberated by the American 1st Division (The Big Red One). It lies 2 miles from the town of Henri-Chapelle in Belgium.

We visit this cemetery at least 3 times a year: At Memorial Day, at Christmas of New Years and in the summer. It really is an amazing and wonderful place to visit. It’s normally a bit busier then Ardennes Cemetery but don’t be surprised when there is nobody when you are there walking around. At the cemetery office you also can ask for an American an Belgian flag to place at the grave marker. There also is sand available to “sand” the letters in the stone for a better photo. The sand comes from the Normandy beaches.

(This text is coming from the ABMC website) At the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial in Belgium, covering 57 acres, rest 7,992 of our military dead, most of whom lost their lives during the advance of the U.S. armed forces into Germany. Their headstones are arranged in gentle arcs sweeping across a broad green lawn that slopes gently downhill. A highway passes through the reservation. West of the highway an overlook affords an excellent view of the rolling Belgian countryside, once a battlefield.

To the east is the long colonnade that, with the chapel and map room, forms the memorial overlooking the burial area. The chapel is simple but richly ornamented. In the map room are two maps of military operations, carved in black granite, with inscriptions recalling the achievements of our forces. On the rectangular piers of the colonnade are inscribed the names of 450 missing. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified. The seals of the states and territories are also carved on these piers. Grave

The cemetery possesses great military historic significance as it holds fallen Americans of two major efforts, one covering the U.S. First Army's drive in September 1944 through northern France, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg into Germany, the second covering the Battle of the Bulge. It was from the temporary cemetery at Henri-Chapelle that the first shipments of remains of American war dead were returned to the U.S. for permanent burial. The repatriation program began on July 27, 1947 at a special ceremony at the cemetery when the disinterment began. The first shipment of 5,600 American war dead from Henri-Chapelle left Antwerp, Belgium the first week of October 1947. An impressive ceremony was held, with over 30,000 Belgium citizens attending along with representatives of the Belgium government and senior Americans. Grave

The cemetery is open daily to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except December 25 and January 1. It is open on host country holidays. When the cemetery is open to the public, a staff member is on duty in the Visitor Building to answer questions and escort relatives to grave and memorial sites.

source:ABMC

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