As we go through the summer holidays of Memorial Day and the 4th of July, please make sure to take a moment to remember and honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice to bring us, and preserve, the very freedoms that we enjoy every day. American service members have given their all in such famous places as Pork Chop Hill, Valley Forge, Normandy Beach, Guadalcanal and some less well known places such as Drewry’s Bluff, the Hürtgen Forest and Shurta Nasir. One little known federal group, the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC), is charged with maintaining both memorials and cemeteries that honor our fallen heroes at home and abroad.
History of the ABMC
The American Battle Monuments Commission was established by Congress in 1923. Its purpose is to honor and commemorate the gallant service, historical achievements and sacrifices of the U.S. armed forces. Most of these sites honor the men and women who fought in and paid the ultimate sacrifice in WWI and WWII. The cemeteries contain the graves of over 200,000 brave souls that gave everything to preserve our freedom and way of life. The sites of the monuments and memorials are some of the most meticulously maintained shrine’s that can be found anywhere in the world.
At the current time, the commission is charged with maintaining 25 American military cemeteries and 26 federal monuments, memorials and historical markers. These sites are located in some 16 foreign countries such as Italy, France and the Philippines. There are also sites in the mainland USA and territories like the Solomon Islands and the British Dependency of Gibraltar.
A Few Significant Sites:
Cabanatuan American Memorial – Philippines
For those that survived the horrors of the famous Bataan Death March in WWII, this was their reward. This is the site of a former prison camp where torture, disease and inhumane treatment by the Japanese captors were commonplace. Thousands of brave soldiers lost their lives here. The camp was the site of the famous “Great Raid,” which was one of the most daring feats of WWII.
Suresnes American Cemetery – France
This is a cemetery in France that was originally built as the final resting place for many brave US servicemen and women who died in WWI. The site has taken on added significance by the fact that it is now the final resting place for 24 unknown WWII dead that have been found over the years and laid to rest here.
The Beautiful Manila American Cemetery
I recently had the honor and pleasure to go see one of these magnificent tributes to our service members myself. The Manila American Cemetery in the Philippines is a beautiful and solemn reminder of these brave men and women’s sacrifice for their country. The fauna and flora are maintained in a pristine condition and the sprawling grounds feature an abundance of magnificent trees and gardens. The men and women who are charged with these places do an amazing job of maintaining them. This site also features a large memorial depicting the battles where these service members died, and also includes the names of those that are buried there.
If you ever get the chance to go see one of these places, then take the opportunity to do it. You not only will get treated to seeing some magnificent grounds and memorials, but it will also give you a chance to pause for a second and thank those who served and paid the ultimate sacrifice for a nation they wholeheartedly believed in.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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