National Security

Countries Around The World Honor US Troops On Memorial Day

REUTERS/Larry Downing

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Memorial Day is an important holiday set aside to remember American soldiers lost in battle and their fight for freedom worldwide.

Memorial Day originally began as a holiday to commentate those killed during the Civil War. It expanded to include all wars fought by the U.S. military and eventually became an official federal holiday in 1971. Countries around the world also use the day to commemorate American soldiers who fought for their freedom. Here’s a list of what other countries do to pay their respects to America’s soldiers.

1. England

One of America’s closest allies, England has built a strong friendship with America over the decades. British and U.S. soldiers fought alongside each other against the Nazis in World War II with many servicemen losing their lives in the fight against tyranny.

The Royal Air Force holds a ceremony at Brookwood American Cemetery. English and U.S. flags are placed at the over three thousand graves marking the final resting spots U.S. troops.

2. France

France has remained one of the oldest allies of the United States through some of the most violent times in modern history. The U.S. military fought Adolf Hitler’s Germany when it took control of the France during World War II. Graveyards now mark the thousands of American lives lost defending the French people.

U.S. and French soldiers gather on Memorial Day to pay tribute to those lost on D-Day during a ceremony overlooking the very beach the battle was fought on. Volunteers place American and French flags at every headstone at Epinal American Cemetery. Oise-Aisne, Somme Cemetery, Lorraine and many more cemeteries across the French countryside also hold services on Memorial Day.

3. Italy

The Italian people pay their respects to American lives lost by putting wreaths at the graves of the over four thousands servicemen buried in Florence.

4. The Netherlands

The Netherlands was liberated with the help of American troops during WWII.

The Dutch honor the thousands of American soldiers lost fighting for its freedom by placing pictures at their gravestones during a service known as The Faces of Margraten. The event is held between May 1 and 5 ahead of Memorial Day. Dutch citizens also take the opportunity to adopt a grave so they can display a personal sign of respect.

5. Luxembourg

Luxembourg is a small European country America helped liberate from Nazi forces during WWII. Prince Guillaume Marie, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and other top officials have all attended Memorial Day ceremonies honoring over five thousand American soldiers buried in the country.

6. Philippines

The Philippines remembers American troops at memorial sites across the country. Government officials and military personal pay their respects by leaving flowers at places like the Manila American Cemetery.

7. Tunisia

Tunisia and American soldiers come together on Memorial Day to honor the over six thousands troops now buried in the country. Tunisian honor guards pay their respects by saluting current members of the U.S. Marine Corp. while they march with the American flag.

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