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Through this page as well as through our social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter, we will keep you up-to-date on the most recent developments. Thus if you are interested in learning more about the project The Faces of Margraten, please come back to this page or follow our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

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New Milestone: Two-thirds of the soldiers in Margraten now have a face

Published: Wednesday, 21 August 2019

The quest for photos of U.S. World War II soldiers who have found their final resting place in the Dutch town of Margraten has reached a new milestone. Since earlier this week, over 6,670 soldiers who have been buried or memorialized there now have a photo available. This means that two-thirds of all 10,012 soldiers now have a face. To mark the 75th anniversary of WWII, the photos will be on display next to their graves from May 2-6, 2020 during The Faces of Margraten.

Read more: New Milestone: Two-thirds of the soldiers in Margraten now have a face

The Netherlands to Commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the End of WWII, Launch Effort to Find Photos of U.S. Soldiers

Published: Sunday, 21 July 2019

In the small Dutch town of Margraten, more than 8,000 U.S. soldiers are laid to rest in the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial. The thousands of white marble crosses and Stars of David at the cemetery are a lasting testimony to the sacrifices of Americans during World War II. The Dutch have never forgotten their sacrifices since. To pay tribute to their liberators, the Dutch seek to pair photos to the soldiers’ names for the 75th anniversary of the end of the war. The help of the American public is needed to locate these photos.

Read more: The Netherlands to Commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the End of WWII, Launch Effort to Find...

6,000 American WWII soldiers remembered in the Netherlands now have a face

Published: Saturday, 15 September 2018

The quest for personal photos of the over 10,000 American soldiers who have been either buried in or memorialized at the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial has reached a new milestone. Relatives of Philip A. Pensabene helped to provide a photo of the New York state native. The 19-year-old Pensabene is the 6,000th soldier to whose name a personal photo could be paired. Almost a two-thirds of these World War II soldiers now has a face.

Read more: 6,000 American WWII soldiers remembered in the Netherlands now have a face

20,000 visit The Faces of Margraten

Published: Friday, 01 June 2018

20,000 visitors came to Netherlands American Cemetery May 2-6, 2018 to walk the cemetery grounds and experience Faces of Margraten. Organized by Stichting Verenigde Adoptanten Amerikaanse Oorlogsgraven (SVAAO) and its chairman Sebastiaan Vonk, this bi-annual event brings photos of the fallen into the cemetery. Visitors could walk the hallowed grounds and see nearly 6,000 photos of the young men and women who paid the ultimate price in World War II. Through the planning and organization of SVAAO, stands to accommodate the photos were placed next to headstones and the Tablets of the Missing in order to personalize the American sacrifice. “While we here at the cemetery take great pride in our part of hosting this event and are proud to have been part of it, most all of the credit for its success must go to Mr. Sebastiaan Vonk and the foundation,” said Netherlands American Cemetery Superintendent Keith Stadler. “They brought nearly 20,000 people to our cemetery to honor and pay their respects to our soldiers.”

Grandparents and parents brought young children to this event to pass on the importance of America’s role in liberating the Southern Netherlands during the war. “We are humbled by the fact that nearly 20,000 people visited the tribute,” said Vonk “But what matters even more is the conversations that people were having. Listening to families talk about the meaning of war and freedom while walking among the photos. That is what it is all about.”

The event opened with a ceremony on May 2 which included participation from the U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands Peter Hoekstra, Governor Theo Bovens, Maj. Gen. Carl Alex, Mayor Dieudonné Akkermans, Vonk, and other distinguished guests. A new addition this year included the debut of the Voices of Margraten, a free audio tour, which is available for free download until May 2019. (Search for the Voices of Margraten tour within the app for English speakers. Search Stemmen van Margraten tour within the app for Dutch speakers.) During this five day event, visitors poured into the cemetery, often brining flowers with them. Cemetery staff estimate nearly 4,000 floral bouquets were placed in the cemetery during this time.

The next Faces of Margraten is planned for 2020 to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands during World War II. In the meantime, SVAAO will continue to collect more personal photos, hoping to put a face to more than 7,500 Americans in time for the next tribute. The Dutch continue to ensure the American story of loss and sacrifice in World War II is not forgotten.

Learn more about this year's tribute by watching this video report:

Submit photos by April 15

Published: Sunday, 01 April 2018

With just over a month to go until all photos will be again on display during The Faces of Margraten tribute, the deadline for submitting new photos approaches rapidly. To make sure that a photo can be printed in time for the start of the tribute at the beginning of May, photos need to be submitted no later than April 15. Photos submitted after this date can, unfortunately, not be included in this year's tribute.

Read more: Submit photos by April 15

Donate

Would you like to contribute to keeping the memory alive? By donating just 12.50 dollars, you will enable us to give a face to one soldier. You can directly donate 12.50 dollars via your credit card or PayPal by clicking the button below. Click here if you want to read more or donate another amount. Thank you for your support!

Mollie

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