by Discount Bluehost

Finally a Memorial Page for all U.S. Soldiers in Margraten after Eight Years

Published: Wednesday, December 21 2016

Eight years after the first digital memorial page had been added to the Fields of Honor - Database, the memorial page for the last of over a 10,000 U.S. WWII soldiers who have been either buried in or are memorialized at the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial in Margraten was created mid-December. These digital memorials offer information about a soldiers' life and military service, and if available a personal photo of the soldier. This all makes the database, a project by the Foundation United Adopters American War Graves, the most comprehensive source of information on these soldiers. One can also find all photos that were on display at the cemetery during The Faces of Margraten in the database. As of now, there are 4,600 photos, about 500 more than were on display during the 2016 tribute.

The database was set up in 2008 by a group of grave adopters who seeked to digitally preserve the photos of and information and documentation on these soldiers, ensuring that the memory to these soldiers would be kept alive for future generation. Until then, there had been no comprehensive attempt to preserve this material and, above all, to centrally collect the information that was out there. Indeed, information could only be found in a large number of archives, in books, on websites, and in other sources. Moreover, much material was kept at home by grave adopters and soldiers' relatives. The database allows for sharing this material with whomever likes to learn more about these men and women and to preserve it in the form of a digital monument.

databaseFor eight years, volunteers have conducted research to collect this material and new information. In the process, contacts were established with thousands of grave adopters, soldiers' relatives, veterans, fellow researchers, and U.S. and Dutch media. Chairman Sebastiaan Vonk: "We should not underestimate two things. First of all, our volunteers have spent tens of thousands of hours on this project. Moreover, thousands of others have made valuable contributions to this database, be it a grave adopter who sent us a photo of a soldier that he had kept for years on his mantelpiece, or the High School teacher who remembered that there was a photo of a soldier in her school. Without those hours of work and these contributions, the database would not have been the digital monument that it is today. We are very grateful for everyone's commitment to honoring these men and women.

In addition, there now also is a memorial page for all of the 14,000 U.S. WWII soldiers who have been either buried in or memorialized at the American War Cemeteries Henri-Chapelle and Ardennes in Belgium. So in total, information on about 24,000 soldiers is available in the Fields of Honor - Database. A personal photo is available for about 9,000 of them. In the years to come, more records for these soldiers will be added.

Moreover, the foundation will expand its work to three other U.S. War Cemeteries, namely the American War Cemeteries Epinal and Lorraine in France, and the American War Cemetery Luxembourg. Chairman Vonk: "In cooperation with the local communities there, we want to make sure that these soldiers also get the respect that they deserve and that they will not be forgotten. After all, also these communities have started to adopt graves. Despite our differences in language and culture, the peoples of different European countries share a heartfelt gratitude for these liberators and also the world's hope for peace." The foundation works together with the French organization US Memory Est Grande France to organize The Faces of Epinal in 2017.

The Foundation United Adopters American War Graves is a group of Belgian and Dutch adopters of U.S. WWII graves. It is the foundation's mission to keep alive the memory to the American liberators who found their final resting place in various European countries after the end of World War II. The foundation observed its fifth anniversary this year. The foundation does not maintain any of the Adopt-A-Grave programs that are in existence and which is maintained by the Foundation for Adopting Graves American Cemetery Margraten in case of the Netherlands American Cemetery.


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!