The American Battle Monuments Commission maintains World War I and World War II cemeteries around the world to honor our war dead. I visited several of these in Europe this year, including Luxembourg where my cousin James Privoznik is buried.
When I was in Luxembourg and Henri-Chapelle in October, I spoke with the superintendents about honoring the fallen. There are many ways ABMC does this:
- Through the maintenance of the cemeteries
- Their website
- New projects yet to be launched
- The collection of materials on soldiers from families and researchers like me
- Memorial Day, Veterans Day and other special programs
- And, educational programs
To further their educational mission, American Battle Monuments Commission recently launched a new website called ABMC Education. The site is built around the Understanding Sacrifice program in which they partnered with the National History Day and the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. This program allows teachers to do several things first through their research of a soldier buried in an ABMC cemetery in Europe. They create a project around that soldier and visit Europe to give a eulogy at his or her grave. The website also has lesson plans and videos to help the public create programs for their schools and organizations or learn about the soldiers and the war.
Did you know you can help ABMC honor the fallen by donating copies of photographs and records on your family’s soldier? Email the cemetery where your soldier is buried and ask how you can do this. The cemeteries create folders for the soldiers buried in their cemeteries to present to family members when they visit. The information and photographs also add to the history of the cemeteries and allows ABMC staff to tell more stories of those honored dead.
Together, we can ensure their names are not forgotten and their sacrifice was not in vain.
If you need assistance researching the service of your soldier, please feel free to contact me.
© 2015 Jennifer Holik