On a recent trip to continental Europe, I made the point of visiting the American War Cemetery in Luxembourg. The cemetery and memorial, based just outside Luxembourg City, is where over 5,000 serving Americans have been laid to rest following the second World War. It’s all too easy to not really appreciate the loss of life suffered during World War II. Estimates put the total dead at somewhere between 60 and 85 million people. That number is quite simply beyond comprehension. To think, that every one of those dead was someone’s mother, father, brother, sister, friend.
The memorial which is located almost directly beside Luxembourg Airport, is both a beautiful and humbling place. When you walk through the gates and past the large memorials, your first sighting of the thousands of white crosses is overwhelming. It takes your breath away. Walking through the cemetery itself, reading the names, ranks and places of birth of all these young men (and one woman) is almost too much at times. You can’t help but be humbled by the sacrifice of these young men and women, who went to war and never came home.
Never was so much owed by so many to so few.