ABMC pays heartfelt tribute to America's fallen overseas during Memorial Day, a hundred years after it was created
More than 500,000 Americans lost their lives in World War I and World War II defending freedom and democracy far from home. The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) continues to honor the more than 200,000 fallen who are buried or memorialized at its 26 cemeteries throughout the world.
Coinciding with ABMC’s centennial anniversary, this year's Memorial Day events also included unique elements to highlight and commemorate the enduring legacy of our fallen and ABMC’s continued promise to preserve that legacy into the next 100 years. The ceremony at Flanders Field American Cemetery, Belgium, was livestreamed through the Commission's social accounts.
Children from the surrounding area were present to honor America's fallen - a tradition that has never wavered since the first Memorial Day ceremonies hosted soon after World War I. Former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey echoed that gesture by unveiling a newly-composed poem in memory of our fallen, which harkened back to the famed 1915 by Archibald Mac Leish poem, “The young dead soldiers do not speak, in honor of his brother Kenneth Mac Leish who is buried at Flanders Field American Cemetery.
Each and every day, ABMC staff throughout the world honor America’s fallen service members overseas and continue to share the stories of service and sacrifice of those we honor and memorialize. Memorial Day is a day when we join with our partners to collectively remember. This centennial year for ABMC was no exception.