The World War II Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial in Margraten is the only
American military cemetery in the Netherlands.
The cemetery site has a rich historical background, lying near the famous Cologne-Boulogne
highway built by the Romans and used by Caesar during his campaign in that area.
The highway was also used by Charlemagne, Charles V, Napoleon, and Kaiser Wilhelm
II. In May 1940, Hitler's legions advanced over the route of the old Roman highway,
overwhelming the Low Countries.
In September 1944, German troops once more used the highway for their withdrawal
from the countries occupied for four years.
Within the tower is a chapel. The light fixture in the chapel and the altar candelabra
and flower bowl were presented by the government of the Netherlands and by the local
Provincial administration. Beyond the tower is a burial area divided into 16 plots,
where rest 8,301 of our military dead, their headstones set in long curves. A wide,
tree-lined mall leads to the flagstaff that crowns the crest.
Netherlands American Cemetery lies in the village of Margraten, 6 miles east of Maastricht.
Maastricht can be reached by train from Paris (Gare du Nord) via Liège, any city
in Holland, or from Germany via Aachen. A bus service runs from Maastricht railroad
station. Maastricht airport with taxicabs is 5 miles to the north
The cemetery's tall memorial tower can be seen before reaching the site, which covers
From the cemetery entrance the visitor is led to the Court of Honor with its pool
reflecting the tower. At the base of the tower facing the reflecting pool is a statue
representing a mother grieving her lost son.
To the right and left, respectively, are the Visitor Building and the map room containing
three large, engraved operations maps with texts depicting the military operations
of the American armed forces. Stretching along the sides of the court are Tablets
of the Missing on which are recorded 1,722 names. Rosettes mark the names of those
since recovered and identified.