American War Cemetery Henri-Chapelle
The American War Cemetery Henri-Chapelle is located near Hombourg, Beligum. There have been 7,992 American soldiers buried in this cemetery. Read more about this cemetery and the "Adopt-A-Grave" program for this cemetery on this page.
The 57 acre cemetery lies on the crest of a ridge affording an excellent view to the east and west. The memorial is visible from Highway N-3 several miles away. Highway N-18 separates the overlook to the northwest from the rest of the cemetery. The site was liberated on 12 September 1944 by troops of the U.S. 1st Infantry Division. A temporary ceme tery was established on 28 September 1944 two or three hundred yards to the north of the present site which was selected because of its more attractive setting. Here rest 7,989 of our military Dead, most of whom gave their lives in the repulse of the German counteroffensive in the Ardennes or during the advance into, and cross Germany during the fall and winter of 1944 and the spring of 1945. Others were lost in air operations over the region.
To the west of Highway N-18 where it crosses the reservation is the overlook area with its flagstaff. From the west end of this area a wide view is afforded over the broad valley of the Berwinne streamlet (which lies in the sector of advance of the U.S. 1st Infantry Division) and the ridges beyond.
The memorial consists of the chapel (north end) and the combined Visitors' and Museum building (south end) connected by a colonnade of 12 pairs of rectangular pylons. East of the colonnade is a wide terrace with ramps leading down to the graves area. On the 48 faces of the 24 pylons and the 4 faces of the engaged pylons at the ends of the colonnade are engraved the seals of the wartime 48 States, 3 territories and the District of Columbia. The obverse of the Great Seal of the United States, in bronze, is set into the floor at the intersection of the axes. The names and particulars of 450 of the Missing of the United States Army and Army Air Forces* are engraved on the 48 faces of the columns. The engaged end pylons bear this inscription in English, French and Flemish: HERE ARE RECORDED THE NAMES OF AMERICANS WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY AND WHO SLEEP IN UNKNOWN GRAVES. These Dead, who gave their lives in our country's service, came from 42 States, the District of Columbia and England. In the soffit of the colonnade are 13 stars of golden glass mosaic.
The chapel can be accessed through bronze doors with polished panels. At the entrance to the chapel, on the east side, is the dedicatory inscription: 1941-1945 ** IN PROUD REMEMBRANCE OF THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF HER SONS AND IN HUMBLE TRIBUTE TO THEIR SACRIFICES THIS MEMORIAL HAS BEEN ERECTED BY THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The interior is rectangular in shape and of somewhat austere design. Hung along the west wall are flags of the Air Force, Armor, Christian Chapel, Jewish Chapel, Engineers, Field Artillery, Infantry and Navy Infantry Battalion.
At the opposite (south) end of the colonnade is the combined Museum and Visitors' Room; the doors, similar to those of the chapel, are of dark bronze with polished panels inset. Built into the west interior wall, of English Portland Whitbed stone, is a map portraying the military operations in northwestern Europe from the landing in Normandy until the end of the war. Amplifying the map are inscriptions in English, Flamish, and French. Under the map of military operations in Northwestern Europe is a stand bearing the two sets of key maps, "The War Against Germany" and "The War Against Japan."
On the south wall is a somewhat smaller map, of materials similar to the other, entitled "Aachen and the Advance to the Roer"; it illustrates the military operations in this region. Accompanying this map is an inscribed text that gives more detailed information on the operations.
The graves area is divided into 8 plots, lettered "A" to "H"; these are separated by the broad axial mall and by longitudinal grass paths. The 7,989 headstones are arranged in broad sweeping curves upon the gently sloping lawn. These Dead came from 49 States, and from the District of Columbia, Panama and England. Among the graves are 8 33 instances in which 2 brothers rest side by side, and one instance of 3 brothers; also there are headstones marking the tombs of 94 Unknowns. The central mall terminates in a wall-enclosed flag pole plaza, backed by a copse of oak and spruce trees. On the wall is the inscription: IN HONORED MEMORY OF THOSE WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR COUNTRY.
Immediately in front of the graves area is the bronze statue of the Archangel bestowing the laurel branch upon the heroic Dead for whom he makes special commendation to the Almighty.
Architects for the cemetery and memorial were Holabird, Root and Burgee of Chicago, Illinois. The landscape architect was Franz Lipp of Chicago. The statue of the Archangel was designed by Donal Hord of San Diego, California, and cast by Battaglia of Milan, Italy. The maps were designed by Sante Graziani of Worcester, Massachusetts.
The cemetery and memorial were completed in 1960. The opening ceremony took place on July 9, 1960.
Adopting a grave
Adopting a grave through this organization is without any charges. Of course, you are free to voluntarily donate to this organization if you wish to.
Address and opening hours
Rue du Mémorial Américain
Phone numberr: +32 (0) 87 68 71 73
The Cemetery is open daily to the public from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. On December 25 and January 1, the cemetery is closed.
Do you want to wish bring flowers with you? There are various shops near the cemetery where you can buy flowers. You will find some addresses below. Also in Liège, there are various shops where you can buy flowers. Please note that Liège is an half-an-hour drive away from the Henri-Chapelle Cemetery. If you wish, you can order your flowers through the Henri-Chapelle Cemetery staff. In order to do so, please contact the cemetery staff multiple days prior your visit to the cemetery.