WWI Unknown soldier’s remains unearthed after more than a century, to be laid to rest at Oise-Aisne American Cemetery, June 7, 2023
On June 7, 2023, ABMC will inter the remains of an unknown WWI soldier at Oise-Aisne American Cemetery in France, one of ABMC’s eight WWI cemeteries located overseas. The full honor military burial follows a year-long process to exhume remains and artifacts, and to identify the soldier’s nationality in order to provide a place of final rest. This is the first burial of an unknown from WWI since 1988, and the first burial at Oise-Aisne American Cemetery since 1932.
On February 8, 2022, the remains of an unidentified presumed American soldier were discovered in the civilian cemetery grounds of Villers-sur-Fère, France. After an investigation by local authorities, military experts and archeologists, it was established that the remains were those of a U.S. soldier who fought in the area during World War I. With his remains were a 1917 steel helmet used by American troops, U.S. insignia buttons, a model 1917 U.S. trench knife, a metal cross arm of a U.S. issue stretcher, remnants of a round U.S. identity tag, and U.S. issue 30.06 ammunition dated 1917 still in ammunition pouches. Based on the location of the remains, analysis of the artifacts, and research of the archeological experts, military historians, and government agencies, it was established that the remains are those of a U.S. soldier who fought in the area during World War I.
Oise-Aisne American Cemetery honors the service and legacy of 6,012 buried service members and 241 Missing in Action memorialized on the Wall of the Missing. Most of them lost their lives while fighting in this vicinity in 1918 during World War I. A new headstone will be engraved and installed to welcome the remains of this unknown soldier.
The burial ceremony will take place at Oise-Aisne American Cemetery, France, at 1 p.m., local time, and will be open to the public. It will be livestreamed on @usabmc, ABMC’s Facebook page, Twitter account and YouTube channel. Join us in commemorating the service and sacrifice of this American fallen servicemember: follow us at @usabmc on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube.
This year, ABMC not only remembers the service, achievements and sacrifice of U.S. Armed Forces during World War I and the legacy of this unknown soldier. We also commemorate a hundred years of existence, affirming our determination to continue to share, remember, and honor those who fell abroad defending our nation, whether they be known or unknown.
Learn more about our centennial events: www.abmc.gov/news-events/news/abmc-host-centennial-events-mark-100-years-commemoration.
To mark a hundred years of commemoration, ABMC released a unique 56-minute documentary, "Our Promise: 100 years of the American Battle Monuments Commission." ABMC has partnered with organizations to screen the documentary throughout the year in presence of ABMC representatives, such as ABMC Commissioners, historians and overseas cemeteries Superintendents. Learn more: ABMC to host centennial events to mark 100 years of commemoration | American Battle Monuments Commission