In honor of Memorial Day, I'd like to share "Overseas American Military Cemeteries Operated by the American Battle Monuments Commission" (ABMC). It shows the 25 cemeteries ABMC administers in 10 countries worldwide. They honor through burial or memorial more than 200,000 veterans from the Mexican-American War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, Philippine-American War, World War I, and World War II.
When American military personnel died overseas in World War I and World War II, the US law allowed next of kin to choose the location of burial. They could choose to have their loved one buried on foreign soil in an American cemetery or to have their loved one returned to the US for burial. About 30 percent of families in World War I chose burial overseas. During World War II, the percentage was slightly less. The American Battle Monuments Commission was created by Congressional legislation in 1923 to manage the cemeteries and monuments in honor of our service members.
In addition to the cemeteries, the ABMC also manages 27 monuments in 16 countries. They include veterans of the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War. In all more than 218,000 veterans are honored through the sites under ABMC's jurisdiction. Their website contains a searchable database of those buried or memorialized.
Thank you to all who have given their life for the freedom the American people enjoy today. Thank you to all currently serving in our military. Your service and sacrifice is not forgotten. Thank you!