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Fields of Honor - Database

In addition to using the photos for the unique tribute at the cemetery from May 2-6, 2018, photos also will be stored for future generations in the Fields of Honor - Database. In this database, information and photos can be found on thousands of American soldiers, including many who have been buried in Margraten. The database can be visited at www.fieldsofhonor-database.com

5,850 faces, 1 audio tour

More than 5,850 photos will be on display during this year's The Faces of Margraten tribute, which will take place from May 2 -6 of this year. This year two of the buried people in the cemetery will take you for a tour over the cemetery, while they tell their stories. Listen to them by taking the Voices of Margraten tour.

Remarks Deputy Governer Koopmans

Deputy Governor Koopmans shared remarks on behalf of the Province of Limburg. Read his remarks here.

Ladies and gentlemen,

De Gezichten van Margraten-21As the Deputy Governor, it is an honor for me to speak to you on this very special and valuable stretch of American land, in our beloved province of Limburg. Buried in these twenty-six acres of fertile ground are the bodies of over eight thousand soldiers. Young men and women, who gave their lives and surrendered their own futures for the freedom of a people unknown to them. Every day, countless people visit these grounds. Not just the families of those who have found their final resting place here, but also many local folk who come to pay their respects. Many of them have even adopted a grave here. This goes to show that this memorial and cemetery are important parts of the heart and soul of the south of Limburg.

The graves here, at our feet, leave a deep impression with every visit. They leave an even deeper impression when we put faces to the names, which is what we do today.

There are over 3.000 photographs here. Pictures like the ones we all have at home, in albums, on the mantle or simply pinned to the fridge. Snapshots that we have in our wallets, on our smartphones. Instant recollections of happier days.

The photographs of the soldiers we commemorate, and to whom we are so very grateful, are especially gripping. Because they come so close to home. Intimate pictures taken among families and friends. The lives from which they were torn. It could have just as well been you or me in these pictures.

Not only the futures of the soldiers who lie here, but also the futures of their friends and loved ones were reduced to nothing with a single blow. To nothing, but not for nothing. They gave their futures in exchange for ours, in freedom. We have been living here in freedom, for seventy years now. Free from war, free from fear. Thanks to these thousands of souls, and many more.

We must never again forget their sacrifice, for the sake of their souls. Souls that were the founders of a united Europe. The souls of Americans who came here to save the old continent for a second time. Let us hope and pray that there will never again be a next time.

Ladies and gentlemen. Some may say that time heals all wounds. Those who have lost their loved ones may not fully share the sentiment. Even now, after seventy years, many of us still
experience deep feelings of grief over the loss of son, daughter, father, mother, brother, sister or friend. The loss of those who never returned. Let these 3.000 photographs be a tangible, joyful memory.

Most people in Limburg today were born after the 1945. They have not experienced the horrors of war and battle first-hand. The photographs, the faces we see, help us re-live the history. They give true meaning to to the concept of freedom.

This is why we are grateful for the initiative that we are opening here today. And I am convinced that many, many visitors will get to know the faces of Margraten that gave us the freedom we cherish to this very day.

Thank you for your kind attention.

Photo The Faces of Margraten/Moniek Wegdam

Donate

Would you like to contribute to this project? By donating 10 dollars, you will enable us to give one soldier a face. You can donate via PayPal by clicking the button below or click here to read more.

About

The project The Faces of Margraten is a project by the Dutch non-profit Fields of Honor Foundation whose aim it is to remember U.S. soldiers buried in various overseas American cemeteries. For more information please visit www.svaao.nl or visit our Fields of Honor - Database at www.fieldsofhonor-database.com.

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