Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery
This World War I cemetery in France contains the graves of nearly 14,250 war dead, and nearly 1,000 names on the Walls of the Missing.
The Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery lies about 150 miles northeast of Paris.
It is the largest American military cemetery in Europe.
Within these 130 acres are the remains of more than 14,200 American servicemen and women, most of them who died in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive of 1918.
A visitor center tells the story of this crucial campaign.
In 47 days of intense fighting, the First Army overcame formidable defenses to force the enemy to retreat.
Within the picturesque trees, like a formal French garden, an immense array of headstones rises in long regular rows.
The cemetery sits on terrain captured by the 32nd and 5th Divisions.
Nine Medal of Honor recipients are buried here.
Their stories are a testament to the desperate nature of the fighting.
Among them is Corporal Freddie Stowers, an African-American soldier who led his battle-worn platoon in a gallant attack against trenches bristling with machine-guns.
Beyond a wide central pool, a chapel in the Romanesque Revival style crowns the ridge that overlooks the graves.
Inside, the flags of the principal Allied nations in World War I stand behind the altar.
Stained-glass windows portray the insignia of the American divisions that fought here.
On the walls of the covered walkways, panels with Tablets of the Missing list almost a thousand names.
The Meuse-Argonne Campaign was one of several offensives that led to the end of the First World War.
Some 26,000 Americans sacrificed their lives for freedom.