Colquitt County GAGenWeb Page, Visiting Margraten

Netherlands American Cemetery,
Margraten, The Netherlands

submitted by Jacki Jonas

My husband and I have visited the Netherlands American Cemetery in Margraten, The Netherlands, two times to visit my grandfather's grave. Both times I was moved to tears by the beauty and peace of the cemetery.

Relatives of these men who have not had the opportunity to visit their final resting place should know that the cemetery is a beautiful and stirring memorial to the 8,302 World War II soldiers buried there. One enters the cemetery through a wide passage with marble walls on either side, a reflecting pool in between, and a carillon tower at the far end. The marble walls are inscribed with the names of 1,723 American soldiers who were killed in action in that part of the European theatre, but whose bodies were never recovered. There are 130 Georgia soldiers buried in this beautiful, peaceful cemetety along with 30 more Georgia solders listed on the Tablets of the Missing. On this trip, I took pictures of all of the crosses and names for those Georgia soldiers. We also left flowers at the graves of Robert H. Folsom, Arthur L. Laster, and Jessie Wise, the three Colquitt County servicemen buried there, to honor their sacrifice.

Passing the carillon tower, the full sweep of the cemetery comes into view, the crosses and stars of David laid out in long, gently curving rows. The cemetery is divided into several sections, with shade trees in the open spaces between the sections. The American flag proudly flies from a high place at the back of the cemetery. The grass is immaculately mowed, and the marble of the individual memorials gleams in the sunlight. Each cross or star of David is inscribed with the name of the soldier buried there, along with his rank, his unit, his date of death, and the state he came from.

It is impossible to see the cemetery without being struck by how many gave their lives for freedom who are buried in this cemetery alone – and the soldiers buried here are but a handful of the Americans who sacrificed themselves in the cause of freedom in World War II. It is a place to be reverent, to honor their memory and give thanks for what they gave on our behalf.

More information about the 24 overseas cemeteries can be found at the American Battle Monument Commission website. More pictures from the Netherlands American Cemetery can be found here. You may see larger versions of all the pictures below by clicking the thumbnail.

This is the view from the front driveway of the cemetery out towards the countryside.
The countryside again.
The front of the cemetery looking in from the drive. The chapel and the carillon are inside the memorial tower in the center.
The Court of Honor and Reflecting Pond, viewed from the front steps.
The burial plots, viewed from the steps just behind the chapel and carillon tower.
Looking back to the chapel from the burial plots.
The chapel and carillon tower, seen from the burial plots. The small wreath is from the 2002 Memorial Day Service at the cemetery.
The American flag flying over the cemetery. The flowers are on my grandfather's grave.
The inscription above the chapel door.

The crosses of the Colquitt County men who are buried in the Netherlands American Cemetery.

Robert H. Folsom
Arthur L. Laster
Jessie Wise

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This GAGenWeb page created on July 31, 2006.
This GAGenWeb page was last updated on Saturday, 11-Jan-2014 10:28:17 MST.