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.
Just seven miles from the city center of Maastricht is the Netherlands American Cemetery
A tranquil landscape masks the country’s turbulent history during World War II.
Over 8,200 Americans are buried here, their headstones set in long curves.
They gave their lives in the Allied struggle to free The Netherlands, easternmost Belgium, and then invade Germany itself.
Private Walter Wetzel smothered the blasts of enemy grenades with his body to save the lives of his comrades.
The memorial is of white Portland stone.
A sculpture depicts a mourning woman flanked by hovering doves and new growth from the shattered remains of a tree.
It represents new life sprouting from war’s destructions, proclaiming man’s immortality and hope for peace.
Walls in the Court of Honor bear the names of over 1,700 missing in action.
The bronze chapel doors depict a Tree of Life.
Inside, an illuminated Crown of the Netherlands hangs suspended from the chapel ceiling.
Since 1945, the cemetery has had a special relationship with local people.
Many bring flowers, some adopt the graves of those who are buried here.
This is their gesture of lasting thanks to the Americans who fought to liberate the Netherlands.