Somme American Cemetery

This World War I cemetery in France contains the graves of nearly 1,850 war dead, and more than 330 names on the Walls of Missing.

Video Transcript

NARRATOR: The beautiful Somme district in northern France was the scene of some of the bloodiest fighting in World War I. Somme American Cemetery sits in the place where the 107th Infantry Regiment suffered nearly 1,000 casualties during the first day’s attack, the largest one-day American regimental loss of the entire war. The land was once part of the German Hindenberg Line. Among the more than 1,800 Americans buried here are three Medal of Honor recipients. Two brothers, James and Harmon Vedder, are buried side by side. Their deaths inspired the creation of the Gold Star Mothers. Nurse Helen Fairchild died as a result of lending her gas mask to a wounded soldier. Four bronze World War I trench helmets capping bronze wreaths are mounted on the base of the cemetery flagpole. At one end of the cemetery is a small memorial Chapel. Above the altar a crystal glass cross captures the light and illuminates walls carved with the names of the missing. An inscription above the chapel honors those who died for their country.