Ardennes American Cemetery

This World War II cemetery in Belgium contains the graves of more than 5,300 war dead, and more than 460 names on the Walls of the Missing.

Video Transcript

NARRATOR: Forty miles southeast of Brussels, Belgium, near the Ardennes Forest, is Ardennes American Cemetery. In this 90-acre World War II burial ground are the remains of more than 5,300 Americans. Some fought and died during the Battle of the Bulge. Others lost their lives during the push across the Rhine and the strategic bombardment of Germany. Major John J. Jerstad flew his burning bomber into an enemy oil refinery. On the face of the memorial building is a high-relief carving of an American eagle. Surrounding the memorial are tablets of gray granite engraved with names of the missing. Inside the chapel above a white marble altar hangs an angel made of gilt metal. Around the chapel walls are enormous battle maps, intricately constructed with marble and brass inset lettering. Shoulder insignias of the major military units that fought here are displayed on the back of the memorial. Keeping watch over this field of honor is a bronze statue of “Youth,” a reminder that those who died were in the prime of their lives.