Belgium / Monument
Bastogne represents the last point of the Liberty Road (Voie de la Liberté). Starting in Normandy, the Liberty Road is marked by commemorative milestones, with one of these being placed at each kilometre interval along the road. They mark the main route taken by General George Patton's U.S. Third Army, following its landing in Europe in 1944.
In March 1946, a proposal to extend the 'Road to Liberty’ as far as Luxembourg and Bastogne, was put forward to the French by a Belgian-American association.
The model of the milestone was made by the sculptor François Cogné. Approximately 1.2 metres high and initially weighing about 435 kilograms, several of these original pink cement milestones have since been replaced by lighter synthetic resin pieces. All the milestones carry a red flame spurting from a torch, which emerges from the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. The ocean that the Americans crossed to help the Allied forces liberate Europe. Contained within the blue crown at the top of the milestones are 48 white stars, which symbolise all the states in America in 1944.
Below the blue crown of stars, there are also four red rectangles. These represent the different sections of the Liberty Road. Starting in Normandy from Sainte-Mère-Eglise to Cherbourg, then moving through France from Cherbourg to Avranches, Avranches to Metz, and then finally from Metz over the border to Luxembourg and Bastogne. On the white part, there are various indications such as mileage, terminal number, and directional information.
The last milestone on the Liberty Road, registered as number 1,147, it was installed on 5 July 1947 at the foot of the Mardasson hill. It is only a few steps away from the Mardasson Memorial, which was inaugurated three years later, in 1950.