In order to honor the fallen American soldiers who fought to liberate the Netherlands from the occupying Nazis in the 1940’s, the Dutch people respectfully dedicated a plot of land to become the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial.

NetherlandsAmericanCemeteryIt covers over 65 acres of land and is home to 8,291 U.S. Soldiers – along with 1,722 missing in action.The Cemetery is located near the famous Cologne-Boulogne highway which was used by the German forces to both occupy the region and then later retreat from the advancing American forces.

The cemetery has 16 plots of land surrounding a tall memorial tower with a reflecting pool in the center.

On each side of the tower is a visitor center and map room that depicts the military operations of the American forces during the liberation of the Netherlands.

NetherlandsAmericanCemeteryReflectionPool

There is a statue of a women who represents the suffering that women felt from the loss of their loved ones during the war.

The Dutch people show great respect to the lives lost while liberating their country by adopting a plot inside the cemetery. These members of the community provide flowers, help clean the cemetery, and do research on the lives of the service members who are buried there.

Bi-annually they hold an event that is coordinated by the Foundation United Adopters of American War Graves, where they collect pictures of the fallen soldiers and place them next to the headstones.

This brings the fallen and the Dutch community closer together as it places a face to a name – making the sacrifice that the U.S. troops made more real to them.