Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial
Located
in Margraten in the southeast of the country near Maastricht, the Netherlands American
Cemetery and Memorial is as intense as it is impressive. The goosebumps came
the moment I turned into the entrance and began to make my way up the long road
to the cemetery, a road that is steeped in history.

The
road – the Cologne-Boulogne highway – was built by the Romans, used by Julius
Caesar during his campaign in the area, and also by Charlemagne, Charles V,
Napoleon, Kaiser Wilhelm II and later by Hitler to advance and withdraw his
troops from the Low Countries.

Memorial at The Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial

The
cemetery sits on a slight hill with gorgeous views of the surrounding area.
There is a memorial wall with the names of soldiers along with an Operations
Map depicting military operations of the American armed forces. There is also a memorial tower, and a
reflecting pond, which reminded me of the one in Washington DC. 
Reflecting pool at The Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial
Photo credit: Wikipedia
But the thing
that took my breath away, that made me feel incredibly sad and incredibly proud
at the same time were the sea white crosses and stars of David representing
those that fought and died during World War 2.
Rows of crosses and stars of David at Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial

Graves at Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial
Photo credit: www.margratenmemorialcenter.org
The
only American military cemetery in the Netherlands, the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial is beloved by the locals who established a foundation for the adoption of American graves
Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial
Those who adopt
graves promise to visit frequently, keep fresh flowers at the grave marker and
attend as many commemorative events as possible.
Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial

The
cemetery is free and open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except December 25 and
January 1 and is well worth the visit.