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Visiting the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial

Visiting the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial

During a Paris to Swiss Alps Viking River Cruise, we made a stop at the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial, a historical site that was unfamiliar to me. After exploring this sacred and breathtaking location, I highly recommend every American to pay it a visit.

This cemetery in Hamm, Luxembourg City, is dedicated to the heroes of the Second World War from the American military.


Luxembourg Cemetery’s History 

Over 5,000 American servicemen lost their lives in the Battle of the Bulge and the liberation of Luxembourg. Their graves are commemorated by the white cross markers (4958 Latin crosses and 118 Stars of David) at the 50-acre Luxembourg American Cemetery. This memorial site serves as a solemn tribute to these fallen soldiers and is overseen by the American Battle Monuments Commission.


Within the cemetery, the magnitude of lives lost is apparent, with countless rows of white crosses. Of particular note is the distinguished resting place of General George S. Patton.

Three hundred seventeen missing soldiers, named on a monumental wall. One female Army nurse rests here, the only woman I saw commemorated at the cemetery.

FYI: US government agencies maintains 26 American cemeteries and 29 memorials in 16 countries.


Pristine Grounds and Chapel

The Luxembourg American Cemetery boasts manicured grounds, an impressive memorial chapel with a mosaic ceiling depicting the Holy Spirit as a dove, and stunning stained glass windows. Eisenhower’s quote is etched on the ground between pylons showcasing battle movements.


Gorgeous fountains overlook three terraced jet pools with bronze turtles and dolphins symbolizing Christian beliefs. A lovely Welcome Center offers brochures and information about the memorial site, along with knowledgeable staff to answer questions.

If you want more historical war sites, please read about my moving visit to Normandy in this post.


General Patton’s History

George S. Patton led the US Seventh Army in World War II and the US Third Army in France and Germany after the Normandy invasion in 1944. With a military career spanning nearly 40 years, he earned the title of war hero.

Known as “Old Blood-and-Guts” by his soldiers, Patton is regarded as one of the greatest military leaders in US history, despite his complex personal history. Following a fatal car accident that resulted in a broken neck, General Patton was laid to rest behind his troops at the Luxembourg American Cemetery.


My Visit and Thoughts

Visiting Luxembourg was not in my plans, just a surprise stop on my Viking River Cruise. Nonetheless, I am grateful for the opportunity to discover such a gem and honor America’s brave soldiers.

My grandfather served in World War II in Normandy, France, and being near those he might have fought alongside, or even befriended, was beyond words. The pride I felt as an American, realizing our immense debt to these courageous men, is indescribable.

On behalf of all the cruise passengers, we were deeply moved from entering to exiting the cemetery. Should your travels bring you to the area, I encourage you to also pay your respects here.


Around Town: Sights of Luxembourg City  

Viking also took us to Luxembourg City, the capital of Luxembourg, for an hour of sightseeing. My husband, Eddie, and I quickly set off on foot to explore the Old Quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Luxembourg City, a fortified medieval town on stunning cliffs, boasts a sophisticated downtown with upscale boutiques, charming cafes, and captivating street murals, statues, and fountains.


Must-sees include the Monument of Remembrance (Golden Lady), Adolphe Bridge, Notre Dame Cathedral Luxembourg, and Three Towers, all UNESCO sites. A glimpse of Pizza Hut and Chi-Chi’s Mexican Restaurant brought a smile to our faces. Quaint pastry shops beckoned, and blooming trees adorned the building-lined streets.


Those interested in Villeroy & Boch fine china can find an outlet store nearby. From toy stores to department stores and chic boutiques, a casino to wine bars, Luxembourg City exudes luxury.

Watching the guards outside the Grand Ducal Palace, the residence of Grand Duke Henri, was a highlight of our walking tour. Although we didn’t have time for a guided tour, it is available at certain times of the year.


Thanks to Viking River Cruises for my travels to this gorgeous place. As always, opinions and reviews are 100% mine and unbiased. 

Read more of our European destination posts: 

What to Expect at the Cruise Ports of Germany

Cruise Europe at Discounted Prices with Costa

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