American Cemetery in Luxembourg


In December, 2003, we visited the American Cemetery near Luxembourg city.  Our escort, Luxembourg Army Adjutant John Derneden, led us through this very impressive tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.  The park-like setting is immaculately maintained, and we were thrilled to see so many American WWII-era vets touring this facility on a very nippy December day.  It is our understanding that many make this pilgrimage around the anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge.

Uncle Harold Stalnaker's name is still listed on the "Wall of Missing", but we expect it to be footnoted at a future date that his remains were later identified.  (Click to enlarge photo at right:  Lt. Stalnaker's name is the seventh one down).

We were surprised to learn that General George Patton is buried in this cemetery.  We learned an interesting story from the curator, Erwin Franzen:  Patton had wanted to be buried among his men, and initially that is where his resting place was located.  But so many visitors wanted to pay their respects to Patton, that the grounds around his burial site were getting torn up by the foot traffic.  Out of respect to the families of soldiers buried next to Patton, the powers-that-be decided to isolate Patton's grave closer to the chapel, in a dedicated area.
Patton's wife had always planned on being buried next to him.  But because this is a military cemetery, non-military personnel are not permitted to be buried there.  The ingenious solution?  The Patton family had Patton's wife's remains cremated, they dug a small inconspicuous hole at the Patton gravesite, and her ashes were placed next to her husband's.

On a more personal note, Uncle Harold's name on the Wall of Missing is about 30 paces from General Patton's final resting place.

Here's a few photos from our December, 2003 visit to this historic site:

Charlie Stalnaker at the gates of the American Cemetery Luxembourg Army Adjutant John Derneden & Charlie, in front of the memorial chapel Another view of the memorial chapel Mosaic tiled ceiling of the chapel

Contact me (Charlie Stalnaker)
POB 4907, Laguna Beach, California 92652 USA

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