I didn’t expect to find …
A seal of Florida in Belgium.
As seen at the Henri Chapelle American Cemetery
But there it was plain as day, and engraved on a smooth limestone column, as were all the other 49 territories and states. The reason: I had biked upon the cemetery where 7,992 American soldiers are buried, all killed in the line of duty during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.
Some views from the memorial
The cemetery is located on top of one of the areas highest hills, with a breathtaking view, and was probably of great tactical importance from a military standpoint. I stayed long enough to pay my respects, take a few photos and then stare out into the expanse. I thought about all those soldiers, what they gave up, and what their lives could have played out had they not given the greatest sacrifice. Most of all, I was overwhelmed by the peacefulness and beauty of the spot. It was almost heavenly, there at the time and now thinking back.
Happy Memorial Day!
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Fact: The Battle of the Bulge was a four week battle that resulted in 75,000 US casualties including as many as 20,000 dead.