American Cemetery and Memorial

Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, France

On June 8, 1944, the U.S. First Army established the temporary cemetery, the first American cemetery on European soil in World War II. After the war, the present-day cemetery was established a short distance to the east of the original site. Like all other overseas American cemeteries in France for World War I and II, France has granted the United States a special, perpetual concession to the land occupied by the cemetery, free of any charge or any tax. This cemetery is managed by the American government, under Congressional acts that provide yearly financial support for maintaining them, with most military and civil personnel employed abroad. The U.S. flag flies over these granted soils.

The cemetery is located on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach (one of the landing beaches of the Normandy Invasion) and the English Channel. It covers 70 ha, and contains the remains of 9,387 American military dead, most of whom were killed during the invasion of Normandy and ensuing military operations in World War II. Included are graves of Army Air Corps crews shot down over France as early as 1942.

The names of 1,557 Americans who lost their lives in the Normandy campaign but could not be located and/or identified are inscribed on the walls of a semicircular garden at the east side of the memorial. This part consists of a semicircular colonnade with a loggia at each end containing maps and narratives of the military operations. At the center is a 22-foot bronze statue entitled The Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves. Facing west at the memorial, one sees in the foreground the reflecting pool, the mall with burial areas to either side and the circular chapel beyond. Behind the chapel are allegorical figures representing the United States and France. An orientation table overlooks the beach and depicts the landings at Normandy.

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Details

Founded: 1944
Category: Cemeteries, mausoleums and burial places in France

More Information

www.abmc.gov
en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.9/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Becca Fiorini (3 years ago)
Very moving cemetery and memorial. The museum is very informative with displays about the war, D-Day and the soldiers who served. The brothers who inspired the movie Saving Private Ryan are buried here. The cemetery grounds are well maintained. We spent about 90 minutes here exploring the grounds and reflecting on the soldiers' sacrifice. There are restrooms near the parking lot and plenty of parking. There is an access road down to the beaches near the exit.
Dav Wink (4 years ago)
Heartfelt place to visit. Very thankful for the courage and sacrifice that took place here. Wished all could make the journey to the Beaches of Normandy and give respects to those who gave their lives to defend liberty for all the world. Highly recommend.
John Radin (4 years ago)
Very nicely nicely done, well maintained and much appreciated. This memorial brings not only a learning experience in the museum but the humbling effect is enormous. Leaves one thinking for weeks and a true sense of appreciation for the men and women who gave their lives for this cause.
Sai Krishna Kolluri (4 years ago)
An awesome place to visit. The museum is very good showcasing the history that happened during the D-Day. They also play a movie showing real footage happened during the World War. The cemeteries are very peaceful and you can see lot of Americans coming and paying respects to their ancestors who fought in the war. The travel to this place is a bit tricky as you have very few buses. Most people come by cars. Overall a must-visit place if you want to know about the history of World War 2.
J. Frances (4 years ago)
Just an amazing visit. This is something I have read about my entire life and with 2 uncles who fought in the war, it was a must see for me. It is moving and heartbreaking when you look at all the names and states of our great hero’s. But when you know freedom comes at a price and what these hero’s did for everyone, it’s amazing. Well designed easy to walk and very well marked. Bathrooms on site which is nice because it’s very rural.
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