Luxembourg’s minister delegate for defence Henri Kox, US ambassador Randy Evans and secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission (AMBC) William M. Matz signed a statement on Friday to ensure future enhancement of the Luxembourg American cemetery in Hamm.
According to the US embassy communiqué, the joint agreement of mutual interest “recognizes the important historical and economic role” the Hamm cemetery plays both in the grand duchy and for the US.
It added that the statement ensures that non-ABMC guides will get training so they are well-informed to guide visitors through the cemetery, which serves as the resting place for the remains of over 5,000 American service men and women and includes the grave of General George S. Patton, interred there shortly after the end of World War II.
The agreement also promises “enhanced transportation to the cemetery from across Luxembourg City”.
The signing of the joint statement, which will serve as a platform for future efforts, also marks the start of the official 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge commemorations.
The Battle of the Bulge lasted from 16 December 1944 through 25 January 1945 and was the last German offensive on the western front. General Patton called it his “biggest battle”.
Among the ceremonies planned are a Friday afternoon luminary as well as the official anniversary ceremony on Monday afternoon (now closed for registration), where a high-ranking US delegation will be present, as well as key members of the Luxembourg government, including prime minister Xavier Bettel.