Attend a Memorial Day ceremony!
Join us this year at one of the American Battle Monuments Commission's cemeteries on Memorial Day for an unforgettable experience. Or venture out to one of the ceremonies held in honor of the American servicemen who are buried in isolated graves.
Each year thousands gather for the annual Memorial Day ceremonies at the American military cemeteries abroad. Senior American and local government officials, military officers, diplomats and other distinguished guests give testimonials in honor of the fallen. Chaplains offer prayers in the name of all faiths. Military units salute the fallen with military honors. Veterans of the war, whose numbers are dwindling each year, bear poignant witness to the sacrifices made. The families of the servicemen buried in the cemeteries are witnesses to the loss of loved ones. The thousands of local citizens in attendance testify to their gratitude and to the enduring bonds that bind America and Europe together. The many families who attend with children demonstrate their commitment to pass the torch of remembrance to the next generation. These solemn and moving ceremonies remind all of us of the true meaning of freedom and its cost in human life.
Ceremonies at the isolated graves and monuments are rather different. The ceremonies are smaller in size, shorter in duration, and more informal and intimate in general. By concentrating on the lives of individual servicemen, they give a human face to what Memorial Day is all about.
Memorial Day ceremonies are more than just a commemoration of the past. Many of the American military personnel who participate are themselves combat veterans who have lost friends and comrades-in-arms in operations abroad. They know first-hand what the price of freedom really is. At the Memorial Day ceremonies, we also commemorate the members of today's American armed forces who have made, and are making, the ultimate sacrifice for our peace and liberty.