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Silent City Meets Living City

World War 2 trips 2016
Photo requests day 1 ~ February 27

A while ago, my dear American friend Andi requested me to take a picture of a grave of an American soldier who died in World War 1, at the Aisne-Marne American cemetery in France, to put on the website. Because this cemetery is quite a distance and I’m not immediately able to do this I promised her to do this in the future. After mailing with her for a while, it appears that people can do photo requests on this website. The website contains graves and cemeteries from all over the world. You can call up a cemetery and check the list of photo requests per cemetery. I immediately took a look at the American war cemeteries in my region and started making lists of requests per cemetery. I thought it might be a good idea to deal with this since most requests come from people living in the United States so they’re not able to quickly come over to take a picture.

Saturday afternoon, February 27, my girlfriend and I take off. We packed our flags, flowers for 4 of my adoption graves, plasticized pictures and information about my adoption soldiers, 2 fully loaded camera’s and the lists of the American cemeteries of Henri-Chapelle and the Netherlands Americancemetery. First we drive to Henri-Chapelle where we take pictures of 103 graves and names on the Tablets of the Missing. At Margraten we have to take pictures of 5 graves and names on the Tablets of the Missing.

The sunshine makes it all more pleasant to finish this nice job and despite the cold and wind, we get pretty hot while taking pictures. I also take time to have some pictures of and with my 3 adoption graves at Henri-Chapelle; George Cagle, Clemit Lipe and Edward Morris. Clemit Lipe was my very first adoption grave. I remember the first time I stood at his grave as if it were yesterday. This remains a special place to me. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to retrieve a picture from the other 2 adoption graves at this cemetery.

Many people wander around at the cemetery, something I didn’t expect, but I can only applaud this off course. There are also several young children at the cemetery, and they look pretty interested in this place.

Taking photos of the graves is going smoothly. The names on the Tablets of the Missing is a bit less smooth because some of them are not very clear. Eventually we do about 2 hours taking all the pictures here, pretty fluent. We decide to drive to Margraten too since we have some time left.

And here too many people are present at the cemetery, even more than Henri-Chapelle. We quickly took the photo requests photos and some photos from my adoption grave; Edwin Frits. Unfortunately I haven’t got much information about him, neither do I have a picture of him. I hope to retrieve some more information in the future.

Since my sweet girlfriend and recently watched the compete Band of Brothers series (12 times for me), we also visit the graves of the famous Easy Company members that are buried here; Dukeman, van Klinken and off course Major Horton.

Afterwards we drive back home and in the evening I start uploading the first photos to the website. I finish this on Sunday morning and I already look forward to a next session. I have the following cemeteries on my list: Ardennes American cemetery, Aisne-Marne, Brittany, Epinal, Lorraine, Luxembourg, Meuse-Argonne, Normandy, Oise-Aisne, Somme and St-Mihiel. My good friend Gauthier will take pictures at the Suresnes American cemetery because he lives nearby. Since this one is near Paris, it’s a bit too far to go do it myself.

By the way, Andi already has her picture she requested. I contacted the superintendent at the Aisne-Marne American cemetery to ask if he wanted to take a picture for me, and so he did. Thank you to this kind man!