While visited Luxembourg this past weekend we decided that we wanted to visit the American Military Memorial and Cemetery. The ‘main attraction’ of sorts is that General Patton is buried at this cemetery. While I did want to go and pay my respects to all the fallen soldiers I don’t have a close personal connection to this cemetery or really anyone who died during World War 2. When we were planning our trip to Luxembourg we planned for this stop to be a quick one. We figured that we would just walk around for a minute, see Patton’s grave, and head on home.
The memorial was so incredible and beautiful. It brought such honor to those who fought and gave their lives here in World War 2.
Before visiting the Cemetery and Memorial I knew that when I visited I would feel proud to be an American. I knew that I would feel thankful for the ultimate sacrifice that many who came before me had given. I knew that I would get to visit a place that was beautiful and gave such honor to our fallen soldiers. What I didn’t expect, though, is that I would wind up walking around with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. I didn’t expect that I would feel so compelled to walk the entire cemetery and take in as many of those names as I could.
It was completely overwhelming. I have read statistics about how approximately 420, 000 Americans were killed in World War 2 or about how approximately 8,400 American soldiers were killed in the battle of the Bulge. To stand among 5,076 of those who gave their lives, though, is an entirely different experience. As I stood and looked out across grave after grave, so perfectly aligned, I could almost see brave soldier standing there in formation. Each one of these soldiers belonged to someone. Each one had parents, family, and friends that were left behind. These aren’t just numbers.
What we had thought would be a quick stop ended up lasting much longer than anticipated. It needed to. While the experience was completely heart wrenching it has also become one of the most treasured experiences of my life. Thankful and grateful don’t really seem to do justice to how I feel towards all those brave soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.
If you would like to see more for our visit to the American Military Cemetery you can do that HERE.