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Meuse-Argonne American Military Cemetery Visit: Appropriate Memorial

Meuse-Argonne American Military Cemetery Visit: Appropriate Memorial

Mar 21st, 2010, 01:46 AM
  #1  
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Meuse-Argonne American Military Cemetery Visit: Appropriate Memorial

W will be visiting the American Meuse-Argonne Military Cemetery next week-end with a large group and have noticed the starkness of all the graves in photos...very striking and sobering.

I have also read of Corporal Freddie Stowers his bravery during WWI, the "misplaced" recommendation for honors, and the long-due Medal of Honor bestowed 80 years late. We will be visiting his specific grave, among others.

Is one allowed to leave something at a specific grave or memorial - i.e. as a small American flag or a floral bouquet, or is that not allowed? If one is allowed to leave something, any suggestions? It will be a 7 hour drive before we get there, so fresh cut flowers would be hard unless someone knows how to preserve them out of water.

Thanks for any info/thoughts you have.
klondike is offline  
Mar 21st, 2010, 03:18 AM
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It appears from the literature that there are staff to assist during visiting hours so they will be the best to ask about leaving memorial tributes. I assume you have seen http://www.abmc.gov/cemeteries/cemeteries/ma.php and its downloadable booklet.

I note that you are in a large group, but you will be close to the Verdun battlefield. If you have any flexibility with your programme a visit to the Ossuary (l'Ossuaire) is equally sobering.
stfc is offline  
Mar 21st, 2010, 03:23 AM
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Hi klondike. I am more familiar with the practices of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Visitors are welcome to leave things such as flowers, poems, etc. They groom the cemeteries regularly and remove items when they start to look bedraggled.

I do not recollect seeing flowers or flags on any of the markers when I was at Meuse-Argonne (photo: www.pbase.com/anselmadorne/image/92240148), but the American Battle Monuments Commission website says that one of the services they offer is "arrangements for floral decorations placed at graves and memorialization sites".

You can look at their site here: www.abmc.gov/home.php or contact them by e-mail: [email protected]

You mentioned "striking and sobering". Very much so. It would be inappropriate to say "enjoy your trip", but it will certainly be an unforgettable experience. If you have an extra hour, swing by Butte de Montfaucon, where there is a memorial commemorating the 1st Army's efforts in that area.

Anselm
AnselmAdorne is offline  
Mar 21st, 2010, 03:25 AM
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stfc, you beat me too it ... I was dawdling over coffee.
AnselmAdorne is offline  
Mar 21st, 2010, 06:31 AM
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Thank you, all, for the links and info.

To AA in particular: Have appreciated and admired both of your WWI reports. Also,want to thank you heartily for introducing us to the wonderful restaurant Le Mas and Hotel Lorraine in Longuyon. I drool just thinking of that dessert chariot!

Unfortunately, no add-ons, as itinerary is set (see copy below) but we will surely be in the area again as I was most impressed with the region and want to get up to Sedan and Bouillon. We just drove past on our way to Amsterdam last trip, so we have to go back...somehow we never run out of travel destinations!
Itinerary:
This year our history tour will take us to the area around Varenne en Argonne, close to Verdun. As usual, we will see the actual battlefield sites and get briefings on the action and personalities involved. We will see actual films of the action while on the bus, and we will be briefed on the combat action right where it occurred. We will see Vacquois Hill, the Aire River valley and the 28th Division Memorial, the Lost Battalion site, Chatel Chehery (SGT York), and the Meuse Argonne American Cemetery at Romagne.

We don't usually do "Tours", preferring the freedom of a car, but at $30/person for an Educators Tour that leaves at 5:45am and returns at 22:30, I couldn't pass it up.
klondike is offline  
Mar 21st, 2010, 10:40 AM
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"... Vacquois Hill, the Aire River valley and the 28th Division Memorial, the Lost Battalion site, Chatel Chehery (SGT York), and the Meuse Argonne American Cemetery at Romagne ...

klondike, that sounds like a very good tour. I really wish I had read more about the American involvement before I went, but I was focussed on the French-German battle of 1916. My circuit up to Butte de Montfaucon and the Meuse-Argonne cemetery was a bit of an afterthought, but it was well worth the effort.

I have since read To Conquer Hell — The Meuse-Argonne, 1918 by Edward Lengel. I wasn't an easy read (and I found his maps inadequate), but I now have a much better understanding of what happened.

AA
AnselmAdorne is offline  
Mar 21st, 2010, 02:44 PM
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A little pricey, but you can order flowers to be placed on a grave. I've done this for my great-uncle who is interred at Meuse-Argonne. When I visited his grave several years ago, I left some soil that I had carried from his home town. But IMO, soil from anywhere in the U.S. would be a piece of "home" for any soldier who didn't make it back.

http://www.abmc.gov/services/floral_price_list.php
Jean is offline  

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