Adopt a grave at Flanders Field American Cemetery

Olivia Davis.

11 Apr 2014, 12:04 Last Updated: 11 Apr 2014, 13:04

Belgium is home to a host of memorials from World War I. But our friends across the Atlantic have a particular connection with one of them: the Flanders Field American Cemetery in Waregem. This is the only American cemetery in Belgium and is now proposing a grave adoption service to honor the soldiers who gave their lives for Belgium’s liberation in the First World War.

Three hundred and sixty-eight graves are located at this cemetery, and you may now pick one to adopt. This is an organized way to pay respect and to keep remembering the fallen American soldiers. The Adopt-a-Grave Program is managed by the American Legion Post BE02 who will deal with your adoption.

The cemetery was recently in the public eye when President Obama took his first visit to Belgium last month. Before his stop in the capital, he too went to pay hommage at Flanders Field.

How does it work?

Anyone can put in an application for adopting a grave or inscription. After filling out the form on their website, send it to [email protected]. Right now everyone is limited to one adoption. However, if the name you have requested is taken, you will be issued another one. You can find additional details and information at the Adopt-a-Grave website.

As an adopter, you are expected to visit your grave often. Be thoughtful, place flowers, and visit on holidays like Memorial Day. It is not complicated, and it is not supposed to be. It is these simple actions that help us to never forget the soldiers’ sacrifice.