November is for many of us a sad period. The daylight fades and so do nature's colours. November starts with 'Allerheiligen'- 'All Saints' Day'- 'Toussaint', followed by 'Allerseelen' - 'All Souls' Day' - 'jour des Morts'. My mother was born on that day.
There is 'Remembrance day', there is 'l'armistice', there is 'Volkstrauertag' and finally, 'Totensonntag'.
And then there is the day when my dear mother passed away.
Today is the day. 25 years already. Liebe Ev.
We live close to the American cemetery of Henri-Chapelle, we went last Sunday and visited the grave which EG has adopted.
Usually, I am inspired by graveyards. The stories behind each life intrigues me. I love the English, so often wobbly, cemeteries and I like the German's, mostly accurate, resting places. I am not at all fond of the Belgian graveyards as they miss the special stones which are so often to be found in the UK nor have they this abundance of green all around the graves as in Germany. On top of that, if there are any flowers to be seen, they are nearly all indestructible plastic ones on top of the tombs.
Henri-Chapelle's cemetery is different. But then it is one of the 14 American military cemeteries outside the States. In this ground, initially there were more than 30.000 soldiers of different nationalities buried.
In the Ardenne's region, there are 4 American cemeteries. The second in Belgium
is in Neuville en Condroz, one is in Luxembourg and one in the Netherlands.
The legend says that when American soldiers had freed Henri-Chapelle, they admired so much the panoramic view on top of that hill over this splendid region that they found, it would be an ideal place and the right reward to be buried there. The place was first also a provisional yard for several thousands of German soldiers and plenty of Commonwealth victims. By 1960 many families brought back their sons into their home countries, the German soldiers were relocated to Lommel.
America got some 23 hectares (56 ac) and today some nearly 8000
Americans have found their eternal rest here.
Inside the building are maps and detailed explanations of the last days of war as well as a guest book with numerous inscriptions from people all over the world.
The colonnades represent each state of the United States. The names of missed soldiers which could never be found, are engraved on them.
Every time we go, we are amazed about the accuracy of every single cross and the pattern which was imagined to create such a stunning lay out.
It is a very still and peaceful place up there.