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Questions About Uploading Content
Q: Do I need to be a registered user of the site to upload a tribute?
A: Yes. Registering is easy. Simply go to Register and follow the instructions.
Q: Do I need to be a registered user of the site to upload other content?
A: Yes. Registering is easy. Simply go to Register and follow the instructions.
Q: How do I make a tribute to a serviceman?
A: First, use the search function to find a serviceman who interests you. On the top right hand corner of that serviceman’s tribute page, click on “Make a tribute.” You can write a tribute in the box provided. You can share a link to any external website that is relevant to the serviceman. You can also provide a link to a video or upload photographs, documents, and more.
Q: Do you verify or remove content?
A: All content is reviewed before it is published on the website. We reserve the right not to publish content that is deemed erroneous, irrelevant or inappropriate. We mark any content that can’t be verified as such. We may contact you if we have any questions.
Q: May I upload any content?
A: You must indicate that any content you upload is rights-free or that you own the copyright.
Q: May I get in touch with another registered user?
A: If you would like to get in contact with a specific person who has uploaded their name or content on this site, please contact us.
Questions About Sentinels of Memory
Q: What is the difference between a Sentinel of Memory and a Primary Sentinel of Memory for a specific serviceman?
A: Anyone, anywhere in the world may add their name to a serviceman’s list of Sentinels of Memory. The only thing you need to do is register and sign in. Primary Sentinels of Memory typically live close to a cemetery and make a pledge to honor the grave of a particular serviceman throughout the year with personal visits and floral tributes.
Q: How do I add my name to the list of Sentinels of Memory for a specific serviceman?
A: Anyone may add their name to a serviceman’s list of Sentinels of Memory. First, sign in (be sure that you register first). Then use the search function to find a serviceman who interests you. On the left-hand side of his tribute page you will see a list of any individuals who have already added their name to his list of Sentinels. Click on “Add my name” and follow the instructions to have your name appear. You may remove your name or indicate “Name withheld on request” at any time by managing the privacy settings on your personal account page.
Q: I want to be a Primary Sentinel of Memory for a particular serviceman, but that serviceman already has a Primary Sentinel of Memory. What can I do?
A: If a serviceman you would like to honor already has a Primary Sentinel of Memory, you can always add your name on the list of Sentinels of Memory that appears on that serviceman’s tribute page. Simply sign in, go to the serviceman’s page, click on “Add my name” and follow the instructions to have your name appear. You may remove your name or indicate “Name withheld on request” at any time by managing the privacy settings on your personal account page. We encourage you to also fill out an application to serve as his Primary Sentinel of Memory in the future. Your name will be added to a waiting list, should the opportunity to become a Primary Sentinel for that serviceman arise in the future.
Q: Can a serviceman have more than one Primary Sentinel of Memory?
A: The current policy is that the grave of each serviceman has just one Primary Sentinel of Memory. Please read more about Primary Sentinels of Memory here.
Q: Why do I see that some servicemen have more than one Primary Sentinel of Memory?
A: In cases where former program rules permitted more than one person to serve in this capacity, more than one Primary Sentinel of Memory will be listed. This is indicated with an “I” to indicate that legacy programs rules are being upheld in these cases. In cases where third party programs manage authorized programs that honor servicemen in this fashion, this is also indicated. In any case, there are only a very limited number of serviceman whose graves have more than one Primary Sentinel of Memory with or without affiliation with a third-party authorized program.
Q: Why do you only talk about servicemen? What about the women who served during the wars?
A: In World War I, thousands of American women volunteered to assist in relief work, and in close support to the troops in medical, transport, and moral building activities. In World War II, tens of thousands of women volunteered to serve America in uniform as WACs, WAVEs, or WASPs. In both cases, they served at great personal risk and many lost their lives. However, none of these brave American women who lost their lives in either war are buried in Belgium. That is why we only use the terminology "serviceman" to refer to America's war dead in Belgium.
Questions About the Memorial Day Ceremonies
Q: Does clicking on “I will attend” reserve a seat for me at a ceremony?
A: No. The Memorial Day ceremonies are public events. Seating outside of the VIP area is available on a first come, first-served, basis.
Q: What happens if it is raining?
A: AOMDA’s Memorial Day ceremonies take place rain or shine. You may wish to bring an umbrella.
Q: Can I lay a wreath at a Memorial Day ceremony?
A: For the Memorial Day ceremonies at the Ardennes, Flanders Field, and Henri-Chapelle American Cemeteries, the only wreaths that are presented individually are the official wreaths representing the governments and militaries of the United States of America and the Kingdom of Belgium. All other wreaths are pre-positioned prior to the beginning of the ceremonies. At the Memorial Day ceremonies at the isolated graves, individuals are welcome to make personal floral tributes. Please see the section below for more information about ordering wreaths if you are interested in doing so.
Q: Is there a dress code for the Memorial Day ceremonies?
A: No. Military personnel attend in uniform and official representatives wear professional attire, but there is no dress code for the general public.
Q: Is there security at the ceremonies?
A: Yes. Do not bring backpacks or other large bags. Attendees may be searched and are subject to video surveillance. Parking near the cemetery may be limited or unavailable. Allow time to walk to the cemetery.
Questions About the American Overseas Memorial Day Association (AOMDA)
Q: What is the difference between AOMDA Belgium and the AOMDA Foundation?
A: AOMDA Belgium is private public partnership consisting of representatives of the AOMDA Foundation, the United States Embassy to Belgium, and the American Battle Monuments Commission. The AOMDA Foundation is a private organization that supports AOMDA Belgium. See Who We Are.
Q: Can I join AOMDA Belgium?
A: As a private-public partnership, AOMDA Belgium has no members. It only has partner representatives. However, the AOMDA Foundation welcomes volunteers who wish to help us support the mission of AOMDA Belgium. If you would like to volunteer to help the AOMDA Foundation, contact us.
Q: Can I financially support AOMDA Belgium?
A: Yes. AOMDA Belgium is financed solely by donations received via the AOMDA Foundation. You may make a donation using PayPal. All donations are gratefully received and very appreciated.
Q. What more can we do to commemorate America’s war dead during Memorial Day ceremonies and throughout the year?
A. This website offers a very interactive way to help us honor, remember, research and share information about the personal stories of the more than 14000 servicemen buried in Belgium. Taking time to share tributes, photos, and other information about the soldiers in this way is very helpful and a lasting contribution. To better assist young people to understand the price of freedom, please take a look at the Pass the Torch section of this website.
Q: When was AOMDA Belgium founded?
A: AOMDA Belgium was founded in 1923, the same year as the American Battle Monuments Commission.
Q: I found another AOMDA on the Internet. It appears to be in France. What is that all about?
A: AOMDA Belgium and AOMDA France are two different organizations. Although we share a similar name, AOMDA Belgium and AOMDA France are independent organizations and have no relationship with each other. The AOMDA Foundation supports AOMDA Belgium, and is completely unrelated to AOMDA France.
About Wreath Ordering
Your floral bouquet or wreath honors the American soldiers of World War I and World War II who are buried in Belgium. During the annual Memorial Day ceremonies, pre-positioned wreaths are offered by many organizations, embassies, local government representatives, veterans’ organizations and other individuals, who take this opportunity to remember those who gave their lives in the pursuit of freedom.
If your organization would like to offer a wreath or floral bouquet, these are best ordered and purchased by your organization via a local area florist familiar with the ceremonies and cemetery needs. The local florist will deliver the wreath or floral arrangement to the cemetery. After the wreath is ordered and paid for, there is no need for your organization to take any further action.
IMPORTANT: In order to allow the cemetery staff to include the name of your organization on the roster of wreath donors, please advise AOMDA in writing after placing your order, including the name and telephone number for a point of contact with your organization. You may send this information to AOMDA via this form.
The following list of “official” florists has been recommended by each cemetery. You may tell the florist your budget and desires and each will accommodate.
Florists that serve the ARDENNES AMERICAN CEMETERY
Le Panier Fleuri, chaussée de Marche, 81, 4121 NEUPRE, Tel and fax : +32 4 371 26 00, E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Pricing: A standard wreath traditionally costs around €100. A smaller wreath can typically be obtained for around €80 and a pillow wreath will run around €60. Inquire about current pricing. Visa, MasterCard accepted. Please be sure to request delivery on FRIDAY - one day before the ceremony.
Florists that serve the HENRI-CHAPELLE AMERICAN CEMETERY Gerrekens Fleurs, Tel and Fax: +32 87 784 369, E-mail: email@example.com, Or order online : www.belfleuregio.com (click on Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in the web shop) Mertens Fleurs, Tel and Fax: +32 87 880 224 , E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org FloriAnne, Tel and Fax: +32 87 555 111, E-mail: email@example.com
Pricing: A simple arrangement traditionally costs around €75. Inquire about current pricing. Please be sure to mention the date of the ceremony and a morning delivery (one day before).
Florists that serve the FLANDERS FIELD AMERICAN CEMETERY
Art of Flower (Christine d’Haene), Broekstraat 81, 8790 Waregem, Tel 056-606055, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bloemen Verbeke (Miek Verbeke), Vijfseweg 38, 8790 Waregem, Tel 056-601914, Email: email@example.com
Pricing: A standard 60 cm wreath with flowers at “Art of Flower" will typically cost around €150; a green wreath without flowers costs around 60 EUR. Both include an “American” ribbon. A smaller floral piece can be purchased for 25-45 EUR, depending on the size. At “Bloemen Verbeke” a standard 60 cm wreath with flowers costs around €250 and includes a red-white-and-blue ribbon. Green wreaths can be priced on request. Floral pieces cost between 60 and 100 EUR.
Q. We purchased a wreath for a ceremony. Do we lay that wreath ourselves?
A. No. Most wreaths and floral arrangements, including those of clubs & youth organizations, are pre-positioned. This means that the wreath or floral arrangement is already positioned on a stand or is lying on the ground (as appropriate) before the ceremony begins. The name of your organization will be read aloud during the wreath-laying portion of the ceremony along with those of other organizations and individuals that have done the same.
Q. Does it have to be a wreath?
A. No. Smaller floral arrangements are also fine. Typically you may ask a florist for a printed ribbon that bears the name of your organization.