|A memorial church was built. Although the villages were not rebuilt, the French still keep them on their roster of actual villages, and all nine villages have a "mayor".|
|There are sign posts and paths telling the names of the streets in town|
|markers to point out where homes and business once existed|
|One of the pathways representing a street and a marker identifying someone's home|
|Before and after image of the town|
Our first stop was to an American Monument Montfaucon.
Montfacon was the highest terrain in the Meuse-Argonne region, and was a key objective of the American assault. Most people do not realize that the Meuse-Argonne battle was the largest, longest, and most bloody battle ever fought by the United States military. The Americans claiming some 27,000 American lives in 47 days of fighting, with six separate days having a death toll greater than the well-known D-Day assault. The saddest thing about this fighting is that this was part of the "Hundred Days Offensive" that drove the Germans to the point of capitulation, so most of the Americans who died in this battle died within weeks or days of the war.
|I have always associated the red poppy for WWI but in our travels and learning about the War we discovered that in France the blue cornflower is the symbol for remembrance. I looked everywhere for this little flower and on the last day I finally found it on our way to this monument.|
|An amazing monument. There are 234 steps to reach the top and you get amazing views of the surrounding countryside|
|Behind this monument is a ruin church.|
|I loved the juxtaposition of these two pillars. One of the old ruined church and the other of the American monument|
|Church grounds and there is evidence of German fortification throughout this area.|
|An old shelter that is unsafe to enter was just on the outer ridge of the church.|
|The cemetery is 130 acres and holds over 14,000 American graves...It is a beautiful place|
|View facing away from the cemetery towards the visitor center|
|Tree lined path between the grave sites|
The rows of crosses lining the cemetery.
|The main cemetery building|
|Inside the chapel|
|From the Visitor center looking onto the main portion of the Chapel.|
Throughout our trip I read the book "The War to End All Wars" by Russell Freedman to the children in the car while driving to the various battlefields.
I can recommend both books to you if you are interested in more information about WWI