May 28, 2012
Memorial Day: Belleau Wood
The battle of Belleau Wood is famous for the bravery of the fighting forces and for the ultimate result, the retreat of the Germans. As evidenced in the American and German cemeteries, this turning point in the war came at a high price.
The woods were attacked six times by the U.S. infantry and Marines (later called devil dogs) before the Germans retreated, with heavy casualties on both sides. As one Marine is famous for saying, "Retreat, hell, we just got here." The Marines persisted and held the allied line.
The American cemetery has 2,289 graves. A nearby German cemetery has 8,630 graves. When the cemetery Belleau Wood battle monument was dedicated, these words were said:
"Now and then, a veteran ... will come here to live again the brave days of that distant June. Here will be raised the altar of patriotism; here will be renewed the vows of sacrifice and consecration to country."
There are ceremonies all over France for Memorial Day and for D-Day tributes. On June 6, a ceremony at Colleville-sur-Mer takes place at 10:30 am to honor the WWII veterans of the Normandy Beach invasions, as well as others who have served.
Photographs and post by Meredith Mullins as a tribute to all who serve.