The American Cemetery is located in Colleville-sur-Mer, France, directly above Omaha Beach. It is one of fourteen permanent American World War II cemeteries located outside the United States. The land was given to the U.S. by the government of France without charge or taxation.
There are 9,387 of our military men and women buried there. Most of those lost their lives in the D-Day landings and ensuing operations. Three hundred and seven are Unknowns (whose remains could not be identified), three are Medal of Honor recipients, and four are women. A Star of David marks the graves of those of Jewish faith and a Latin cross all others. The stones face West…towards America.
On the Walls of the Missing are the names of 1,557 soldiers.
Of additional interest at the American Cemetery are the following:
Visitors Center: Dedicated in 2007. “The center allows us to better tell the courageous and inspiring story of those buried at Normandy American Cemetery,” said General Frederick M. Franks, Jr., USA (Ret), American Battle Monuments Commission Chairman. “The center provides a fuller array of visitor services to put the D-Day landings in perspective as one of the greatest military achievements in history.”
Colonnade with battle maps engraved in stone and embellished with colored enamels and in the center, a 22-foot bronze statue “The Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves.”
The Chapel in the graves area is made of Vaurion limestone, granite, and with an altar of black and gold Pyrenees Grand Antique marble with the inscription “I GIVE UNTO THEM ETERNAL LIFE AND THEY SHALL NEVER PERISH.”
The plantings: The cemetery is surrounded on the East, South and West by heavy masses of Austrian pine, interspersed with Laurel, Cypress and Holly oak. The lawn areas of the Garden of the Missing are bordered with beds of polyanthus roses, while Elm trees grow in the lawn areas.
Click here to read about our Normandy tours to visit the American Cemetery in Normandy.
Source: American Battle Monuments Commission