France / Cemetery
The impressive American Military Cemetery of Colleville-sur-Mer contains the remains of 9387 American soldiers who fell during the Battle of Normandy. The cemetery reflects and honours the sacrifices that the USA made for the liberation of Europe. From this point one can overlook Omaha Beach, the deadliest landing beach of Operation Overlord.
The American Military Cemetery of Colleville-sur-Mer is the most famous war cemetery in Normandy. The long lines of white marble Latin Crosses and Stars of David symbolise the sacrifices that the Allied nations - and here in particular the United States of America - have made for our freedom.
The cemetery is an exceptional site, not in the least because of its impressive location dominating Omaha Beach, where the Americans suffered their worst losses. Great care has been given to its aesthetic qualities. Many elements combine to make a lasting impression: the half circle of columns, the elaborate statuary, the great reflecting pond, and the immaculate park enclosing the graves of 9387 American soldiers who died on D-Day and in other confrontations thereafter during the Battle of Normandy.
A semi-circular wall on the east side of the Memorial shows the names of 1557 soldiers missing in action, men whose bodies were not found or not identified. Large maps and commentaries in the loggias explain the Allied operations in Normandy and Northwestern Europe. A vantage point offers a panoramic view of Omaha Beach and an orientation table clarifies the strategic movements during the first days of the invasion.
Since 2007 a visitor centre welcomes visitors and sheds light on the course of the battles. Since the visit of U.S. president Jimmy Carter in 1978, the cemetery is an obligatory stop for American presidents and is often referred to by the American press when the two countries' foreign policies clash. A second American Cemetery in Normandy is situated just outside the town of Saint James.