9 Important Facts about America's Overseas Military Cemeteries

The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC), an agency of the U.S. federal government, manages America's overseas cemeteries from World War I and World War II. This Memorial Day learn more about this agency that protects the memory of our fallen overseas.

  1. ABMC manages 25 cemeteries and 27 monuments, memorials and markers.
  2. Sites are located in 16 foreign countries, the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the British Dependency of Gibraltar. Three of the memorials are located within the United States.
  3. More than 218,000 individuals that died in World War I or World War II are buried or memorialized within ABMC cemeteries and memorials around the globe.
  4. After World War I and World War II families were given a choice in regards to burial location: Bring their loved one home for burial, or have them buried in a permanent overseas cemetery managed by the U.S. government.
  5. From World War I, approximately 30 percent of families chose overseas burial. Slightly fewer families chose overseas burial following World War II.
  6. Burials within all ABMC cemeteries are arranged without regard to rank, race or creed.
  7. Well-known Americans such as Gen. George S. Patton, Jr., poet Sgt. Joyce Kilmer, big band leader Maj. Alton Glen Miller, and family members of U.S. presidents such as 1st Lt. Quentin Roosevelt and Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., are buried or memorialized within ABMC sites.
  8. Flanders Field American Cemetery is the smallest ABMC site with 411 honored, and Manila American Cemetery is the largest with 53,486 honored.
  9. Most ABMC sites are open every day of the year, except Christmas Day and New Year's Day, and entrance is free.

If you want to learn more about the ABMC mission: