Visit a museum or monument
Whether you live in Belgium or are just visiting, there is much to see and do when it comes to remembering the sacrifice of those who died for the liberation of Europe. Visit one of the many museums that bring the past to life, or explore the countryside for memorials and monuments of interest.
There are dozens of museums dedicated to the First and Second World Wars in Belgium. Below are a few recommendations about museums to visit, or discover a list of monuments and memorials:
Kazerne Dossin was a former Belgian military barracks that the Nazis used as a concentration point for Jews before sending them to the death camps in Eastern Europe. It tells the story of what happened to the Jewish citizens of Belgium in WWII, and holocaust.
The Remember Museum 39-45 museum is owned and run by Marcel and Mathilde Schmetz as their tribute to the Americans who liberated them. Dozens of American veterans have donated items to the museum, and Marcel and Mathilde keep their memory alive. It is located at les Bèolies 4, 4890 Thimister-Clermont, not far from the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery. The museum's opening hours are limited, so check their website for more information.
Located in Bütgenbach, the Belgian Army runs the Truschbaum Museum, and it is located on a Belgian army base. It tells the story of Camp Elsenborn. One part of this story is the struggle for the Elsenborn ridge during the Battle of the Bulge in which the "battle babies of the 99th US Infantry Division distinguished themselves.
A small private museum with its own collection of found and acquired civil and military gear including American appliances and utensils as well as German military and propaganda material objects, badges, weapons, photographs and maps. Built by Frederic Winkin in 2007 is located at 54, rue des Ardennes, 4920 Aywaille, Belgium. The museum is open by appointment and on Sunday afternoon from 14:00 to 18:00. The museum does not have a website.
The December 44 Historical Museum in La Gleize is located at the site where SS Panzer Commander Joachim Peiper was forced to abandon his tanks in the Battle of the Bulge. The museum is dedicated the events on the northern flank of the Battle of the Bulge. One of Peiper's King Tiger panzers that he left behind is sitting outside of the museum. There is also a historically interesting bicycle related to the Malmedy Massacre inside the museum.
The Ardennen Poteau 44 Museum is a small family-owned museum dedicated to the Battle of the Bulge. It is located in the middle of a former battlefield, where the US 14th Cavalry Group was ambushed by the Nazis on 18 December 1944. It has a rather large collection of military vehicles.
On 4 November 2018, the US 37th Infantry Division pushed across the River Scheldt, puncturing one of of the German Army's last lines of defense. Since the soldiers of the "Buckeye Division" were mostly from Ohio, this bridge was built in their honor when it was reconstructed following the war.