Aisne-Marne American Cemetery
This World War I cemetery in France contains the graves of nearly 2,300 war dead, and more than 1,000 names on the Walls of the Missing, most of whom fought in the vicinity and in the Marne Valley in the summer of 1918.
The Aisne-Marne American Cemetery is near the small French village of Belleau, some 50 miles northeast of Paris.
The quiet of the country cemetery masks the history behind it – the ferocious battle of Belleau Wood and mighty Aisne-Marne Offensive of World War I.
Nearly 2,300 American servicemen, many of them Marines, are now buried here.
Even the Romanesque chapel has seen fighting.
Its entrance still shows battle damage from World War II.
Inside, the chapel is a sanctuary of elegant repose.
The altar is made of carved Italian marble; a stained-glass window depicts the emblems of the Allied nations in World War I.
Inscribed names line the tall chapel walls: they are the names of over a thousand American missing in action nearby.
The famed Belleau Wood itself is just behind the chapel.
Artillery, shells, and trenches are on display here, a reminder of the battle in June 1918 – when U.S. Marines and Army soldiers made six successive attacks on Belleau Wood before they successfully expelled the Germans.
The Marine Monument, like the Cemetery itself, honors and preserves this memorable courage.