ABMC's newest visitor center opens at Netherlands American Cemetery

The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) dedicated its newest visitor center at Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands, this Monday, Dec. 11, 2023.

Officially opening to the public Dec. 12, 2023, this visitor center is the 10th visitor center created by ABMC since 2007.

In presence of U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands Shefali Razdan Duggal, ABMC Secretary Charles K. Djou, Governor Emile Roemer and Mayor Alain Krijnen, selected guests and invitees were offered the opportunity to explore the exhibit that ABMC developed for this unique space.

During the dedication ceremony, ABMC Secretary Charles K. Djou noted: “this particular visitor center is not only beautiful or historic – it is a reminder to the Dutch and American people, and humanity, that mankind has never devised anything more powerful than a free people willing to fight for freedom.”

ABMC Secretary Charles K. Djou (left) and U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands Shefali Razdan Duggal (right) speak during the dedication ceremony.

U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands Shefali Razdan Duggal followed by a personal speech in which she acknowledged the sacrifices made almost 80 years ago in these surroundings and highlights the importance of ABMC’s mission to remember such courage and commitment to their nation: “The creation of this new visitor center offers the world an opportunity to learn of the historical significance of what occurred here, including Operation Market Garden. As importantly it gives future generations the chance to connect with the personal stories of those interred here, to see their faces, and say their names.”

ABMC is proud to soon welcome visitors who will discover a unique exhibition and movie, inside a remarkable building.

After the ribbon cutting, local officials and selected guests were invited to explore the exhibit that ABMC developed for this new visitor center.
The unique architecture of the Netherlands American Cemetery visitor center gives the building the appearance of floating in place.

The exhibit space was designed to follow a sequential narrative that highlights the vital military campaigns and battles that took place in the vicinity. The experience of the thousands of American service members that fought and perished during these operations are counted through their hardships, challenges, and triumphs.

This new visitor center tells the story of the air operations over the Netherlands, Germany, and Central Europe, as well as many other military operations, to include Operation Market-Garden, the liberation of South Limburg, the Hürtgen Forest, and the Battle of the Bulge.

Original artifacts and personal stories are used throughout the exhibit to honor the legacy of those who fought in the vicinity.

The use of original artifacts and personal stories highlight each of these momentous events and give the visitor an understanding of the often-overlooked campaigns leading to the Allied victory.

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