National Geographic : 1934 Jan
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Photograph from Acme KEEPING THEIR MEMORY BRIGHT Soldiers fire a Memorial Day salute over the graves of their comrades buried in France. Flowers and French and American flags have been placed beside the headstones. ground again. The towns in these areas were literally obliterated by the terrific bombardments. Certain sections are being preserved in their wartime state as exhibits of the con ditions under which the troops served. On Vimy Ridge, in the vicinity of the Cana dian War Memorial, is a graphic example. The nearest to Paris where visitors can see trenches in their unreclaimed state is Belleau Wood. This historic spot, whose story is familiar to every American, was purchased shortly after the war by an asso ciation of American veterans, and has since been transferred to the Battle Monuments Commission. At many places through the war areas other nations have erected monuments commemorating the sacrifices that were made. Because the project of our Government fully covers all phases of the activities of the American forces in Europe, it has been the policy of the Commission, strongly supported by the French and Belgian Gov ernments, to discourage the erection of memorials not of a utilitarian nature by nongovernment agencies. With our pro- gram accomplished, any additional monu ments would result in unbalanced com memoration. During the last four years nearly 6,700 of the 17,000 Gold Star Mothers and Widows have visited the American ceme teries in Europe as guests of the United States Government. They have been con ducted to the various places by officials of the American Graves Registration Service, which organization has charge of the per petual care of the cemeteries and memo rials. At the completion of these pilgrim ages the members have written: "We are going back to our homes with a feeling of great satisfaction that we now know where our loved ones lie, and that they rest in such beautiful and peaceful spots, while their deeds are perpetuated in wonderful memorials of marble and stone." To the other Gold Star Mothers, to rela tives of soldier dead, and to every American citizen, I can give assurance that the United States Government has kept and will con tinue to maintain its trust in perpetuating the memory of the bravery and sacrifices of our World War heroes "Time will not dim the glory of their deeds."