Memorial Day Ceremonies - May 2018
Why Should We Remember Them?
Over 20 Memorial Day ceremonies will be held at the end of May to honor the more than 14,000 American servicemen who died during WWI and WWII, and whose final resting place is a cemetery in Belgium. Each of these servicemen sacrificed their “tomorrow” for the liberty of future generations. It is thus with gratitude and the highest respect that several thousand Belgians make time each year during Memorial Day weekend to attend commemorative events held at the Ardennes American Cemetery, Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, Flanders Field American Cemetery, and more than one dozen “isolated graves” of Americans buried elsewhere in Belgium. Everyone is welcome to attend the events – including Americans living in Belgium although, sadly, few Americans are among each year’s ceremony attendees. All ceremonies are open to the general public and no invitation is required to attend. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis, and ceremonies are held rain or shine. Will you make time this year to attend and honor America’s Fallen?
The ceremonies have been taking place since 1923, and are organized by the American Overseas Memorial Day Association in Belgium, a partnership between the American Battle Monuments Commission, the United States Embassy to the Kingdom of Belgium, and the AOMDA Foundation, with support from the Belgian and US militaries. If your schedule permits, do consider attending one of the ceremonies to be held this year between May 23 and May 28. Some are large, other are small, and all are memorable tributes that are not long forgotten. All details, including driving instructions, parking tips and the history of each ceremony, can be found online at www.aomda.org. If you register on the website, you can add events to your calendar and receive an automated reminder several days before the ceremony.
For all information: www.aomda.org
Servicemen Stories Database: Every one of the more than 14,000 servicemen buried in Belgium now has a personal tribute page on www.aomda.org to honor his memory. Enter a name in the search fields or view by cemetery to read and share information and tributes about each soldier, marine and airman whose final resting place is Belgium. Registered users may upload photos, articles, videos, thoughts, reflections and more. What makes the database unique is that it scales for use by smartphones and mobile devices, allowing visitors to a cemetery to engage with these serviceman’s stories on location. Please help us tell their stories by researching and sharing what you can about their lives and history.
Serve as Sentinel of Memory: At the request of the ABMC, AOMDA Belgium agreed to assume leadership of two of the former grave adoption programs. The timing was perfect, and the website provided a way to merge the activity with our new Sentinels of Memory initiative. Anyone, anywhere in the world, can be a Sentinel of Memory for any serviceman with whom they feel a connection. Simply register and add your name on his tribute page. Those who live closer to a cemetery may choose to serve as a “Primary” Sentinel, a commitment to honor his grave with floral tributes throughout the year and to research and help to share his story.
Please consider a donation: The AOMDA Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit entity, has been created to help AOMDA Belgium achieve its mission of remembrance. We remain a private, 100% volunteer organization. All funds received go directly to our mission. Donating is now easier than ever. Simply visit our site and make a donation today using Paypal. Or find instructions on how to send a check. Donations in USD are tax deductible. We greatly appreciate your support!