The World War I Somme American Cemetery and Memorial in France is sited on a gentle slope typical of the open, rolling Picardy countryside. The 14.3-acre cemetery contains the graves of 1,844 of our military dead. Most lost their lives while serving in American units attached to British armies, or in operations near Cantigny. The headstones, set in regular rows, are separated into four plots by paths that intersect at the flagpole near the top of the slope. The longer axis leads to the chapel at the eastern end of the cemetery.
A massive bronze door surmounted by an American eagle leads into the chapel, whose outer walls contain sculptured pieces of military equipment. Once inside, light from a cross-shaped crystal window above the marble altar bathes the subdued interior with light. The walls bear the names of 333 of the missing. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.
The cemetery is open daily to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except December 25 and January 1. It is open on host country holidays. When the cemetery is open to the public, a staff member is on duty in the visitor building to answer questions and escort relatives to grave and memorial sites.
Somme American Cemetery is situated ½ mile southwest of the village of Bony (Aisne), France, which is 1¼ miles west of highway N-44, 13 miles north of St. Quentin and 14 miles southwest of Cambrai. The road leading to Bony leaves highway N-44 10 miles north of St. Quentin, a short distance north of the American monument near Bellicourt. The cemetery, 98 miles northeast of Paris, can also be reached by automobile via the Paris-Lille toll autoroute (A-1) to exit 13, "Vallée de la Somme," then to Vermand and Bellenglise, or Lille-Reims toll autoroute (A-26) exit 9, via highway N-44 south for 7½ miles to Bony. Hotels are available at Peronne, St. Quentin, and Cambrai, which may be reached by train from Paris (Gare du Nord).