Today I visited a military cemetery in Belgium, the „Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial“. It is a Second World War American military war grave cemetery, located 3 km north-west of the village Henri-Chapelle, some 30 km east of Liège in Belgium. The cemetery, dedicated in 1960, contains 7.987 American war dead and covers 57 acres (23 ha). In map/satellite view you can see the dimensions of this place when zooming in.
The majority of the fallen buried at Henri-Chapelle were killed during the Allied push in Germany during late 1944 and early 1945. The fallen from two key military engagements fill the cemetery; the First United States Army's drive through northern France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg into Germany in September 1944 and the Battle of the Bulge, including the Battle of Hurtgen Forest and later taking of Aachen.
By March 1945, 17.000 Americans, 191 Allies and 10.030 Germans were interred here. After the war, the German and allied casualties were transferred to other sites and about 60 % of the US ones were repatriated, following the will of the next-of-kin.
Behind each of these 7.987 headstones is the unique story of a young soldier. On my way back to the car I must think … what did mankind learn from all this?! Obviously nothing …
The only category I could assign here was „Historic“ … but words or terms anyway do fail here.
It gives you the goose bumps. As you write, each cross stands for a family tragedy. It must be like a dark cloud hanging over the homes of millions of families all over the world that have received the message "we're sorry but you're son is dead, killed in combat" - a cloud that never goes away. And so many others wounded, maybe sitting in a wheelchair for the rest of their lives. I have visited a military cemetery in the Normandie one year and also stood at one of the famous beaches maybe it was Omaha Beach. It was one kind of a trip.
All three images are excellent. I find that the fall colors underline the sadness of a such a place. My favorite of the three is the CI I think.