Last updated: May 19. 2014 8:06AM - 731 Views
by Buddy Dugan



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For thirty one years of military service, I commemorated Memorial Day. For three years, from 1985 to 1987, I gave the invocations and benedictions at the Meuse-Argonne cemetery in France, on Memorial Days. It is the largest World War I American cemetery, having 14,246 American graves. The reason that I participated is that I was serving as the Command Staff chaplain for the 1st Infantry Division (Forward) with headquarters in Goppingen, Germany, and the 1st Infantry Division had fought in the Meuse-Argonne campaign in World War I. The French invited us to participate as our unit was the only one in Europe that had the heritage of participating in the Meuse-Argonne battles.


We pause on Memorial Day to remember all who have served in our armed services, but especially to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. There are 124,139 American graves in overseas plots. Below is a list of those sites and the numbers buried there.


World War I


Aisne-Marne, France 2289


Flanders, Belgium 368


Meuse-Argonne, France 14,246


Oise-Aisne, France 6012


Somme, France 1844


Saint Mihiel, France 4153


Suresnes, France 1541


World War II


Ardennes, Belgium 5329


Brittany, France 4412


Brookwood, England 468


Cambridge, England 3812


Epinal, France 5255


Florence, Italy 4402


Henri-Chapelle, Belgium 7992


Lorraine, France 10,489 (largest WW II in Europe)


Luxembourg, Luxembourg 5076 (General Patton’s grave)


Netherlands, Netherlands 8301


Normandy, France 9387


Rhone, France 861


Sicily, Italy 7861


Manila, Philippines 17,202 (largest)


North Africa, Tunisia 2841


The enormity of the numbers, a total of 124, 139, should give us pause to consider the selfless sacrifices our nation has made in the cause of peace. May they rest in peace and may we never forget the price of our freedom.


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