On May 28, U.S. Embassy Luxembourg, together with the American Battle Monuments Commission, held the annual Memorial Day ceremony at the American Military Cemetery and Memorial in Luxembourg, commemorating those men and women who have sacrificed their lives in military service.
U.S. Ambassador Thomas Barrett said: “At the graves of 5,070 brave American service members, who all hoped the war they saw would be the last, we reaffirm to them that their sacrifice for freedom has not been in vain. In the face of the Russian aggression against a sovereign nation, the United States, Luxembourg, and our allies will continue to stand united for the values of democracy, peace, and freedom.”
The ceremony commenced with the presenting of the colors by the 52nd Fighter Wing Honor Guard and the Luxembourg Army Color Guard. The invocation was given by His Eminence Monseigneur, the Cardinal Archbishop of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Hollerich. Remarks were made by U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg, Thomas Barrett, Principal Deputy Director of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, Fern Sumpter Winbush and the Minister of Education, Children and Youth, Minister for Higher Education and Research, Claude Meisch. Prayer of Remembrance was read by David Dana representing the Jewish Consistory of Luxembourg.
The official party then took part in a wreath laying ceremony, which included wreaths presented for HRH the Grand Duke, the United States of America, the Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies, the Government of Luxembourg, the Council of State, the City of Luxembourg, the Men and Women of the United States Armed Services- past and present, and the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, followed by several local organizations and authorities.
The official party included Thomas Barrett, the U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg, Mrs. Kris Barrett, Paul Duhr, Marshall of the Court, Fernand Etgen, the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Claude Meisch, the Minister of Education, Children and Youth, Minister for Higher Education and Research, Christoph Schiltz, President of the Council of State, Simone Beissel, Alderwoman of Luxembourg City, Colonel Pascal Ballinger, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Luxembourg Army, Fern Sumpter Winbush, Principal Deputy Director of the Defense Pow/Mia Accounting Agency, Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Baker from the Office of Defense Cooperation of U.S. Embassies of Belgium and Luxembourg, His Eminence Monseigneur the Cardinal Archbishop of Luxembourg Jean-Claude Hollerich, David Dana representing the Jewish Consistory of Luxembourg, and Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Van Ness of the U.S. Navy.
The Ceremony concluded with the 21-gun salute by the 52nd Fighter Wing Firing Detail, Taps, and the national anthems performed by the Luxembourg Army Band, ending with the benediction from Chaplain Jeffrey Van Ness and the retiring of the colors.
About Memorial Day:
Memorial Day in the U.S. is observed on the last Monday of May and honors the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Memorial Day 2022 will occur on Monday, May 30 but it is traditionally marked with a ceremony in Luxembourg the preceding Saturday.
Originally known as Decoration Day, it began following the U.S. Civil War as a remembrance of the fallen from that conflict and was formally recognized in 1868. After World War I, the day came to honor all those who had died in military service and became known as Memorial Day. In 1971, the U.S. Congress established Memorial Day as a federal holiday to be observed on the last Monday in May. Many Americans observe the holiday by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings, and participating in parades to remember and show gratitude for those who died in the service of their country.
About the American Battle Monuments Commission:
Luxembourg American Cemetery is managed by the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC). Established by Congress in 1923, ABMC commemorates the service, achievements, and sacrifice of U.S. armed forces. ABMC administers 26 overseas military cemeteries, as well as 29 memorials, monuments, and markers in the U.S. and around the world.
For more information, please contact the Public Affairs section at the U.S. Embassy in Luxembourg at +352 46 01 23 21/ 24 or at LuxembourgPublicAffairs@state.gov