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 β 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.
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.
But the thing that took my breath away, that made me feel incredibly sad and incredibly proud that took my breath away, that made me feel incredibly sad and incredibly proud at the same time was the sea white crosses and stars of David representing those that fought and died during World War 2.