Netherlands American Cemetery

This World War II cemetery includes the graves of more than 8,300 war dead and more than 1,700 names on the Walls of the Missing.

Video Transcript

NARRATOR: Netherlands American Cemetery is the only American military cemetery in Holland. The more than 8,300 servicemen and women buried here lost their lives in airborne and ground operations to free eastern Holland. Others died during the advance into Germany. This beautiful landscape was the scene of much turbulence during World War II. In forty instances, two brothers are buried side by side. Private Walter Wetzel threw himself on two enemy grenades to save the lives of his comrades. The memorial is comprised of a central plaza with walls containing names of the missing. At the end of a reflecting pool is a sculpture of a mourning woman flanked by doves of peace. The doors of the memorial chapel bear a bronze outline of a Tree of Life. Inside, the Dutch Royal Crown is displayed above the altar. Tour groups often visit the cemetery. Here, a troop of American girl scouts have come to pay their respects. Since the war, the cemetery has had a special relationship with local residents, who adopt and visit graves as a gesture of thanks to the Americans who liberated this area.