|Rubbing sand from Omaha Beach on William|
Each family of the fallen soldiers was given the choice to have the soldier buried in Margraten or to be returned to the United States to be buried in a private or national cemetery. Once the decision was made by the family, the decision was considered final and could not be changed.
At one time there were over 17,000 soldiers taken to Margraten. Today the cemetery holds only American soldiers, and it has over 8,000 fall US soldiers from WW2 buried there.
|William Allen's grave.|
We had the opportunity to place flowers on the grave. The Supt. then explained a special practice they do with families of the soldiers. The stones of white marble with engraving are very difficult to photograph. To help them be more photographed, they provide sand for the family members to rub over the name so it can be seen. The sand is shipped in from Normandy beach. The significance of the the sand is that the soldiers who are buried in Margraten all started their invasion of Europe at Normandy beaches in France.
|Over 8,000 fallen US soldiers are|
buried in Margraten.
Our visit was a very emotional experience. It certainly makes one appreciate the sacrifice made by these soldiers.