Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial
On the 57 acres of Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial the remains of 7.992 American soldiers are interred. Most of these men lost their lives during the advance of the U.S. forces into Germany. The U.S. 1st Infantry Division liberated this site on 11 September 1944. A battlefield cemetery was established on 28 September 1944.
The Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial in Belgium, covering 57 acres, holds the remains 7.992 of American soldiers, most of whom lost their lives during the advance of the U.S. forces into Germany. Their headstones are arranged in wide arcs sweeping across a broad green lawn that slopes gently downhill. A highway passes through the cemetery. West of the highway is an overlook that affords an excellent view of the peaceful Belgian countryside that was once a battlefield.
To the east is the long colonnade that, with the chapel and map room, forms the memorial overlooking the burial area. The chapel is simple, but richly ornamented. In the map room are two maps of military operations, carved in black granite, with inscriptions recalling the achievements of the U.S. forces. On the rectangular piers of the colonnade the names of 450 missing soldiers are inscribed. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.
The cemetery holds fallen Americans of two major campaigns: the U.S. 1st Army's drive through northern France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg into Germany (September 1944), and the ‘Battle of the Bulge’, the German counteroffensive in the Ardennes (December 1944 – January 1945). It was from the temporary cemetery at Henri-Chapelle that the first shipments of remains of American war dead were returned to the United States for permanent burial. The repatriation program began on 27 July 1947 with a special disinterment ceremony at the cemetery. The first shipment of 5.600 American war dead from Henri-Chapelle left Antwerp, Belgium the first week of October 1947. An impressive ceremony was held, with over 30.000 Belgian citizens attending.
When the cemetery is open to the public, a staff member is on duty in the visitor building to answer questions and escort relatives to grave and memorial sites.
The cemetary is open daily to the public from 09:00 to 17:00, except 25 December and 1 January. It is open on most country holidays.