The Aisne-Marne American cemetery and memorial is making preparations to commemorate one hundred years since the end of WWI on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
The cemetery contains the graves of 2,289 American soldiers.
“The Aisne-Marne American cemetery is the site of a battle. In the woods behind the chapel here, a very fierce battle was fought by 2nd (infantry) Division. It was the Battle of Belleau Wood, it’s very famous. The United States Marines earned their reputation for ferocity and for aimed-rifle fire in Belleau Wood,” said James S. Bertelson, Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial Superintendent.
The Battle of Belleau Wood took place in June 1918 near the Marne, a river in eastern France.
“There is a young man, he’s carried on the wall up there as missing. And he was killed on the day after his 16th birthday. His file is pretty dry, but in his file is a letter from his mother to the government, and they’re saying ‘if and when we find his body, do you want him buried in France or would you like him taken home?’ And she quite appropriately responded, ‘if you can’t give my son back to me alive I don’t want him back at all,” Bertelson said.
The inscriptions on the memorial chapel of the names of the fallen soldiers, including the 1,060 missing in action, serve as tribute to their memory.
President Donald Trump is expected to attend a commemorative ceremony at the cemetery on Nov. 10, according to French media.