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The Faces not on display in 2021

Published: Friday, March 19 2021

This year again, the faces of the over 10,000 U.S. soldiers buried and remembered in the Dutch town of Margraten will not be on display at the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial. For the second year in a row, the global COVID19 pandemic prevents The Faces of Margraten tribute from taking place. If not for COVID19, more than 8,000 photos would have been on display at the cemetery in May.

"There are no words to describe how disappointed we are," said chairman Sebastiaan Vonk of the Fields of Honor Foundation, which organizes the tribute. "Despite the cancellation of the tribute last year, volunteers both here in Europe and in the United States have continued to work hard to locate the faces that were still missing. We simply considered it to be an opportunity to put a face to even more soldiers."

The soldiers' families, the grave adopters, and others share the disappointment. A couple of dozen families had expressed their desire to come over from the United States to visit the gravesite of their loved one when the photos would be on display. Many grave adopters also looked forward to seeing the photos of the soldiers whose graves and names they have adopted on display. "In the past six years, the tribute has really become a tradition that is now part of the cemetery's remembrance culture. The photos powerfully move people," according to Vonk.

The month of May is a special month. On May 4, the Dutch remember their war dead. The United States does so on Memorial Day, the last Monday of the month. And therefore, the tribute still wants to mark the stories of those remembered in Margraten and the meaning of freedom in alternative ways during this special month of May. The tribute hopes to be able to announce its alternative programming soon.


Would you like to contribute to keeping the memory alive? By donating just 12.50 dollars, you will enable us to give a face to one soldier. You can directly donate 12.50 dollars via your credit card or PayPal by clicking the button below. Click here if you want to read more or donate another amount. Thank you for your support!