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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.

PENSABNE Philip A MAR G 15 24 02origineel2The Faces of Margraten tribute initiated the quest for photos in 2014 to honor the service and sacrifice of the killed American soldiers during the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands by putting a face to their names. The tribute does so quite literally by decorating their graves and names on the Walls of the Missing with a personal photo. When the tribute was held in 2015 for the first time, cemetery visitors could look into the eyes of about 3,300 photos already.

However, as time passes it becomes increasingly more difficult to locate photos of these men and women, who died over 70 years ago. “We are extremely grateful for the efforts of our own volunteers and of many others in both the United States and the Netherlands, who have committed thousands of hours of time,” says chairman Sebastiaan Vonk. “They help to ensure that the memory to these soldiers, to these people, will continue to live on in the hearts and minds of the cemetery’s visitors.”

The Faces of Margraten tribute will return to the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial for the fourth time in 2020. All photos remain accessible for the public in the Fields of Honor – Database, an online memorial, in the meantime.

Also a milestone for audio tour Voices of Margraten

Visitors of the cemetery can still take the earlier-this-year-released audio tour Voices of Margraten. More than 5,000 people have taken the tour so far. In the tour, private Carmelo Amoroso takes visitors back to his youth during a walk over the cemetery. Visitors also get to know the person who has adopted his grave. She shares how she wants to keep the memory alive to this person who she has never personally known, but who has become extremely important to her. Led by Lubert Priems and Jacqueline Kerkhof, Stichting Laudio produced this audio tour for this year’s The Faces of Margraten tribute. Visitors can download the tour for free on their phones through the izi.travel app.

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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