Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Luxembourg American Military Cemetery & Memorial

Every month big Army gives the soldiers a 4-day weekend, usually they encourage travelling. Drew was supposed to be off playing Army in October, so we didn't make any plans to go anywhere. Of course, nothing is for sure in the Army, at the beginning of the week, Drew told me he wasn't going to be training so we could go somewhere if we wanted to. Since I had already taken Friday off we started planning a trip. We decided to go to Belgium, and Luxembourg, since we could drive and could take Rylie with us.

Thursday, after I got home from work, we packed up the car and headed off to Ramstein Air Base to spend the night. Ramestein is about 4 hours away from us and we wanted to get as much time possible over in Western Europe. Coming from the Graf area, it was a great idea to stop off for the night at RAB. We got a pet friendly, 1-bedroom apartment through Air-force Inns. We were able to grab groceries and even get Cinnabon for breakfast before heading out. (I would suggest stopping off here for the night, prices aren't bad at all either!)

Friday morning after packing sandwiches and stuffing our faces full of Cinnabon, we headed off to Luxembourg.

At first we were going straight to the Luxembourg City, since I knew Drew was a big History buff I mentioning to Drew that the American Cemetery was located just 12 minutes outside of the city, and since we were being spontaneous, we decided to check things out. 
Selfie before heading into the cemetery
Dogs aren't allowed in the cemetery, which makes sense, even if they were allowed we didn't want to disrespect the fallen servicemen, so after letting Rylie do her business, we left her in the car and checked out the cemetery. 

The cemetery consists of 17 acres of manicured lawn surrounded by 33.5 acres of woods. Entering through the gates, visitors see the impressive memorial chapel encompassed by a stone terrace directly in front of them. 

The chapel includes massive bronze doors embellished with gold leaf cartouches depicting military “virtues”, a sparkling mosaic ceiling and a colorful stained glass window showcasing the Army insignia's representing the men and woman that rest in the cemetery. 

We signed the guestbook!
 On the lower level of the terrace, two pylons face each other across a quote by Eisenhower about the sacrifice of military members.

There are so many names on these two walls.

The cemetery was established on December 29, 1944 while Allied Forces were stemming the enemy's desperate Ardennes Offensive, one of the critical battles of World War II.The city of Luxembourg served as headquarters for Gen. George S. Patton's U.S. Third Army. Gen. Patton is buried here at the head of the cemetery along with 5076 service members, many of whom lost their lives in the Battle of the Bulge and in the advance to the Rhine River.

 The design is a softly curving fan shape consisting of nine sections interspersed with four fountains, majestic trees, and expansive rose and rhododendron beds.

We found an Paratrooper
We found a Medal of Honor Recipient 

We found a female's grave

 There were graves as far as the eye could see

It was so humbling to walk through the cemetery, with the American Flag flowing in the wind and knowing that these brave men and woman died for such a just and noble cause, valiantly fighting to stop the advancement of the Nazi's. It makes me proud to say that I am an American.
We were lucky enough to have visited the Normandy American Cemetery last November, in France so we just jumped at the chance to visit another Cemetery. It's an amazing experience that just can't be explained. You just have to go and see it for yourself!