Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial in St. Avold

Pictures and text by Danielle McCown

The Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial is in St. Avold, France. This cemetery holds the largest concentration of American soldiers outside of the continental United States. 10,489 troops are buried here. This cemetery houses mainly soldiers who fell during the Allies' push towards and across the Rhine and Germany in the spring of 1945. This cemetery was completed by 1960. This specific site was chosen for its scenic setting and is completely surrounded with trees.

This is a photo of a plaque that "greets" visitors in both English and French. At the bottom of this plaque, there is a list of the number of soldiers buried on European soil from both the 1st and 2nd World Wars.
This is a shot of the Visitor's Center and to the left is the Memorial Chapel.
Inside of the Visitor's Center, there is a special section of one wall dedicated to the 4 Medal of Honor recipients that are buried in St. Avold. From top right clockwise we see First Lieutenant David C. Waybur, Staff Sergeant Andrew Miller, Staff Sergeant Ruben Rivers, and Private First Class Frederick C. Murphy.
Another display inside the Visitor's Center with a dedication stone, flag, and plaque that holds a Purple Heart Medal.
A close-up shot of the dedication plaque.
A close-up shot of the plaque describing the Purple Heart Medal that is housed there.
A close-up shot of the next page on the plaque describing the Purple Heart Medal which describes the history behind the Purple Heart.
A complete shot of the Purple Heart plaque with an actual Purple Heart in the center.
A letter on another wall from President Eisenhower that expresses gratitude for the servicemen interred at St. Avold and those participating in its creation.
A panoramic shot of the backside of the Memorial Chapel and the United States flag.
A dedication of the wall surrounding the memorial grounds. Notice, there are 13 stars around the eagle - perhaps for the original 13 U.S. colonies.
The wall, surrounding the memorial grounds, with the names of the soldiers that were never found or identified are inscribed on it.
A panoramic shot of the memorial wall and front of the chapel are now visible. The large figure on the front of the Chapel is of St. Avold - a martyred Roman soldier.
The right side of the memorial wall - in French. Most of the inscriptions that were in English had French counterparts as well.
View of the burial grounds from the entrance door to the Memorial Chapel.
Inside the door of the Memorial Chapel to the immediate left.
A large map on the left side of the inside of the chapel.
A close-up of the text. French is below, but only English shown.
A close-up of the subsequent text.
A close-up of the subsequent text.
View of the inside of the chapel upon entering it. The five figures represent the great leaders of the world who have strived for freedom.
King David - he is holding an open book in his hands that has text in Hebrew which read "He will cover you with his wings, in his breast will you find refuge." (translated from French)
Emperor Constantine - holds a globe in his hand with a cross at the top. Constantine is the father of Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire. (translated from French)
King Arthur - who evokes the chivalrous myth of the quest for the Holy Grail. (translated from French)
George Washington - founding father and President of the United States, closes this picture (translated from French)
A "valiant soldier" who symbolizes the fight for liberty (translated from French)
A close-up of the text under the figures.
On the right side of the chapel. A dedication is at the top of the wall, and maps showing the advancement of the Allied Forces are shown below for both the war's progress in Europe and Asia.
Outside of the chapel and amongst the burial grounds.
A decorated gravestone for one of the Medal of Honor recipients with gold-embellished writing while others were merely carved without this addition.
While most of the gravestones were crosses, this stone was done with the Star of David, a symbol denoting a person of the Jewish faith is buried here.
The absolute back of the memorial, decorated with an eagle, is where one could sit and look upon the site.
View from the back of the memorial grounds.

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