Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial - St. Avold France

  Here is what the American Battle Monuments Commission has to say about it: 

The Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial in France covers 113.5 acres and contains the largest number of graves of our military dead of World War II in Europe, a total of 10,489. Their headstones are arranged in nine plots in a generally elliptical design extending over the beautiful rolling terrain of eastern Lorraine and culminating in a prominent overlook feature. Most of the dead here were killed while driving the German forces from the fortress city of Metz toward the Siegfried Line and the Rhine River. Initially, there were over 16,000 Americans interred in the St. Avold region, mostly from the U.S. Seventh Army's Infantry and Armored Divisions and its Cavalry Groups. St. Avold served as a vital communications center for the vast network of enemy defenses guarding the western border of the Third Reich. 

It was EXTREMELY cold that weekend and as we felt like we were freezing walking around the grounds, it was very sobering to think that the men who died fighting here were experiencing the same if not worse weather (as the battle where many of them died took place this time of year) and in much less warmer dress because their winter gear had not arrived in time.  

 Our first stop of the day

 This was a nice French lady who explained some of the grounds to us

 There are four medal of honor recipients buried there

 A definition

Take time to read their stories (if you click the pictures it should make them larger) - they're amazing...

Below are a few other plaques that they have there that give some interesting details of the many men who died.
 There are 30 sets of brothers buried here, including one set of twins

 It was good to see our flag.  One thing I've really missed is seeing it as often as we do back home.

 Look at all the crosses.  

 So many men sacrificed for us

 The chapel was pretty amazing

The progress of the war...

 The ten commandments and our flag
(that was probably obvious :)

 The front of the chapel symbolized great men of the past

 King David

 Emperor Constantine

 King Arthur

 George Washington

 The ceiling

 May we always remember and, by the grace of God, endeavor to preserve the freedom that they paid for so dearly, and also do our part to see to it that the cause for which they died continues to live...

Thank you mommy for the picture!!

Stay tuned for a post of our second stop of the day...


Veronica said...

Thank you for sharing, Savannah.
Our freedom is a very precious thing, yet easily taken for granted. We so easily get consumed with ourselves and FORGET the sacrifices that men (and women) gave so that we have the privilege to live in a free country today.
(I always enjoyed this saying: "God, Guns and Guts is what made America Free")

Cochran Family said...

So true - thank you for commenting!!

Anonymous said...

We are enjoying seeing Europe through your family's eyes! We are re-living our years we spent over there! St. Avold was one of our favorite places. Sombering and yet beautiful to see how our parents and our grandparents generation...sacrificed for our freedoms. And to see how the French take such wonderful care of our fallen American soldiers. Truly humbling...

God Bless.
BTW... tell you Mom she looks wonderful!