Aisne-Marne Memorial & Cemetery

Aisne-Marne Memorial & Cemetery

Aisne-Marne Memorial & Cemetery
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What people are saying
Where U.S. Marines Saved Paris
5.0 of 5 bubblesJun 2018
The Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, at the site of Battle of Belleau Wood during World War I, does not attract the number of American visitors as the nearby Chateau Thierry Memorial and Cemetery or the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach in Normandy. For U.S. Marines, however, it is a pilgrimage destination. A fellow Marine and I (long past our active duty prime) and our wives planned to visit Belleau Wood on 1 June, in conjunction with the 100 year anniversary of the 1918 battle. The cemetery is only 40 miles east of Paris. In 1918 this was the front line of the Western Front. In preparation for this trip we had contacted the Cemetery Superintendent. He greeted us upon our arrival. He congratulated us on our foresight not to have visited for the Memorial Day celebration when 8,000 people showed up for the ceremonies. The grounds are well maintained by the U.S. federal government. The Superintendent is in fact an American citizen and a federal employee. After walking among the grave markers, located at the point of the last German resistance, we drove down the hill into the town of Belleau. It is the site of the destroyed chateau that owned the hunting preserve we now call Belleau Wood. In the town is a newly opened museum dedicated to those who fought at Belleau Wood and the town’s people who struggled to endure the war. On the grounds of the old chateau is the Bulldog fountain. It is said that Marines who drink from this fountain add ten years to their life expectancy. The fountain is in a gated section of the chateau’s ruins. The information desk at the museum has the key. We then followed the driving tour of the battlefield much of which has been reclaimed by local town’s people and farmers. The wheat field, however, that Marines crossed under relentless German machine gun fire still exists as it did in 1918. Growing at the edges of these fields are the ever present red poppies that have become a symbol of WWI. The drive takes you through Belleau Wood itself and to the Marine Monument. Along the way are remnants of the battle; machine gun emplacements, trenches and artillery positions. The route also takes sightseers through the town of Bouresches. This was a village captured in the early, confused fighting of this three week battle. Given more time I would have found the local cafe for lunch and a self-guided walking tour. Next time. This was the first combat action by American ground forces in the war. The Marines where moved hurriedly to the front to thwart a major German offensive. If the Marines had failed to seize Belleau Wood, and thus to stop the German advance, there was little to keep the Imperial German Army out of Paris. The fall of Paris would have radically changed the outcome of the war to end all wars. Oo-rah Devil Dogs! (Nickname given by German soldiers after Belleau Wood.)

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TravelingGoose03
Melbourne, Florida214 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Couples
The Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, at the site of Battle of Belleau Wood during World War I, does not attract the number of American visitors as the nearby Chateau Thierry Memorial and Cemetery or the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach in Normandy. For U.S. Marines, however, it is a pilgrimage destination.

A fellow Marine and I (long past our active duty prime) and our wives planned to visit Belleau Wood on 1 June, in conjunction with the 100 year anniversary of the 1918 battle. The cemetery is only 40 miles east of Paris. In 1918 this was the front line of the Western Front.

In preparation for this trip we had contacted the Cemetery Superintendent. He greeted us upon our arrival. He congratulated us on our foresight not to have visited for the Memorial Day celebration when 8,000 people showed up for the ceremonies.

The grounds are well maintained by the U.S. federal government. The Superintendent is in fact an American citizen and a federal employee.

After walking among the grave markers, located at the point of the last German resistance, we drove down the hill into the town of Belleau. It is the site of the destroyed chateau that owned the hunting preserve we now call Belleau Wood. In the town is a newly opened museum dedicated to those who fought at Belleau Wood and the town’s people who struggled to endure the war.

On the grounds of the old chateau is the Bulldog fountain. It is said that Marines who drink from this fountain add ten years to their life expectancy. The fountain is in a gated section of the chateau’s ruins. The information desk at the museum has the key.

We then followed the driving tour of the battlefield much of which has been reclaimed by local town’s people and farmers. The wheat field, however, that Marines crossed under relentless German machine gun fire still exists as it did in 1918. Growing at the edges of these fields are the ever present red poppies that have become a symbol of WWI.

The drive takes you through Belleau Wood itself and to the Marine Monument. Along the way are remnants of the battle; machine gun emplacements, trenches and artillery positions. The route also takes sightseers through the town of Bouresches. This was a village captured in the early, confused fighting of this three week battle. Given more time I would have found the local cafe for lunch and a self-guided walking tour. Next time.

This was the first combat action by American ground forces in the war. The Marines where moved hurriedly to the front to thwart a major German offensive. If the Marines had failed to seize Belleau Wood, and thus to stop the German advance, there was little to keep the Imperial German Army out of Paris. The fall of Paris would have radically changed the outcome of the war to end all wars.

Oo-rah Devil Dogs! (Nickname given by German soldiers after Belleau Wood.)
Written July 13, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ed T
Syracuse174 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2018 • Friends
We stopped on a lark during a driving trip from Paris to Reims, on our way to a champagne and cathedral day trip. Saw a billboard, thought we would go see what's there. We were stunned. 4of us, generally gregarious, a little boisterous, irreverent, spent an hour or more just walking around and looking. We hardly talked despite being outside most of the visit. Just makes you stand and look and ponder.

It's a simple cemetery of white crosses marking the graves of over 2000 Americans who died during a late campaign in WWI in the Marne valley, including the battle at Bellau Wood here. Centerpiece is a memorial chapel with the names engraved on the walls. Tiny museum room displays a few artifacts and some background info. A real visceral reminder or what people sacrificed for the world we live in today.

If you are making this drive, don't miss it. An hour is enough if you are in a hurry, but you could spend 2 hours. It's small, you probably would not stay much longer, unless you have a specific reason. We saw signs for several other memorials in the area, all connected to the same campaign. Can't speak for any of them. WWII is still in the popular conscience, as we still have a few left who were in the war. WWI is largely in the history book category, not a real event in our minds, as it was 100 years ago. But this visit brought it to the front. Go there if there is any way you can.

Note that this summer will be the centennial of the campaign, probably will be a few ceremonies associated with it.
Written March 23, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jamestB5009YJ
Jerusalem, Israel166 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2016 • Solo
Aisne-Marne Memorial and Cemetery is located just east of Belleau Wood and south of the village of Belleau. Its smaller counterpart German cemetery is located just west of the American cemetery, about a no man's land apart. A beautifully designed and kept cemetery, the orderly and peaceful lines of gravestones are mostly crosses with Stars of David sprinkled among the mix. The chapel is stately and solemn, containing beautiful stained glass windows, flags in the corners, and names on the wall. It is well worth visiting and remembering the price of freedom. You can spend a short time or a long time visiting the chapel and walking among the gravestones. When going there, look for the turn-off signs while on the road to Chateau Thierry if you are coming from Meaux.
Written December 22, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sailorsgirl
Springfield, MO5,948 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2015 • Couples
Among all the WWI and WWII American Cemeteries we have visited, Aisne-Marne is my favorite. In the springtime when everything is in bloom, it is incomparable in it’s beauty and solitude. The cemetery lies at the foot of Belleau Wood, and within the 42.5 acres lie 2,289 American dead most killed at the Battle of the Marne.

The meticulously manicured avenue lined with Linden trees leads to the Chapel. On the walls are listed the names of 1,060 of the Missing. The Chapel itself contains sculptures and stained glass depicting soldiers, equipment and unit insignias. It is a very solemn and emotional place. There are many pretty paths to wander through in the area of the Chapel where you can be still and think about what happened in this sadly beautiful place almost 100 years ago.

Stop in at the Visitor Center to gain some background about the cemetery and the men who fought in the area. Sign the book and talk to the people who work there. They have lots of information to share. There are also restrooms available.

As you leave the cemetery, turn right out of the gates and visit Belleau Wood and the Marine Memorial. It sits just above the back of the Cemetery. This Cemetery and many other American cemeteries, memorials and monuments fall under the care of the American Battle Monuments Commission. Check out the website to learn more at www.abmc.gov.
Written May 9, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BaCaDa
Charleston3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018 • Couples
Visited the cemetery to locate my great uncle's grave. My father was named after his deceased uncle being the eldest son of the deceased uncle's brother My father had a very unusual first name "Add". Seeing my father's name on my great uncle's grave stone was very emotional. We visited in a Sunday and had the cemetery to ourselves. It is so very peaceful it is hard to imagine the horrors these soldiers went through. My great uncle was a 19 year old from Kentucky. I have been to the American cemetery in Normandy and it is beautifully Aisne-Marie. Truly gives you such a peaceful and emotional moment.
Written November 10, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John16752024
Portland, OR1,052 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Solo
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to this cemetery last week. This cemetery is exceptionally well maintained and appropriately honors those who are buried here. I was especially impressed by the young American superintendent who took the initiative to approach me and who provided me with a lot of useful information to include a newly published book on WW I cemeteries and monuments maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission. My interaction with this young man made my visit that much more rewarding.
Written June 28, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John S
California418 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Family
Visiting the Aisne-Marne Cemetery was part of the plan for our France trip from the beginning. We were there on June 8th under a cool, grey sky with almost no other visitors. This cemetery, most likely, does not get the same crowds as the Normandy cemeteries. We found it quite convenient to visit this site as the last item on our trip itinerary before heading to the airport, especially since the airport is about an hour away in light traffic.

I realize this is not a "fun" site but part of the fun was the long and winding road getting to the cemetery. Along the way we saw some of the most beautiful French countryside with fields of red poppies (a long-time symbol of WWI remembrance) and quaint rural homes. Our navigation system within our rental car had no problem leading us directly to the cemetery. You will see signs then the obvious well-manicured grounds so common with these sites. The parking is free and the visitor center offers pamphlets to pick up for free.

Of course the number of fallen is always staggering when you go to military cemeteries but you never quite get used to it. At this site there are the graves of almost 2,300 fallen most of which were killed in the Marne Valley in the summer of 1918. The chapel on the hill is the largest and most obvious feature of the cemetery and within there are the names of over another 1,000 missing in the general region! Behind the chapel is Belleau Wood, which is also the name of the battle where the Marine Expeditionary Force fought so valiantly. Within Belleau Wood are still many traces of WWI.
Written June 24, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

zHojo
Prague, Czech Republic525 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Solo
This cemetery has the unique advantage of being directly next to a battlefield, Belleau Wood. Additionally, this battle was one of the seminal battles of the US Marine Corps, so it is practically a homage point for Marines even though a good number of the other graves are from the US Army. It's wonderfully managed and all the support staff are knowledgable and offer insightful information. I was there two days after the huge 100th anniversary of the Belleau Wood battle. Also read my future review on the Belleau Wood battlefield.
Written June 1, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nate R
Sycamore, IL528 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2018 • Friends
My brother-in-law served in the Marines and highly recommended the stop at Belleau Woods. I echo that recommendation after visiting. No crowds, and yet such an experience. The cemetery itself is not massive compared to other military cemeteries, but stunningly beautiful in the late spring. The ground that was fought over is all around you, and a short drive or walk into town will put you by the museum and fountain. A short drive up the hill will lead to the Marine memorial and the remnants of trenches and shell holes in the woods. If you're driving between Paris and Reims and have any interest in history, and specifically the Great War, stop.
Written May 27, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brian C
Powell, OH240 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2017 • Friends
Aisne-Marne is the final resting place of over 2,000 brave American's who gave their all during WW I. I same here to pay tribute to my Uncle who died in action on Jun 6, 1918. Surrounded by Belleau wood this small enclave is a beautiful and peaceful remembrance to these soldiers and marines. I would highly recommend a visit here to learn the history and significance of the battles fought here.

Only about an hour's drive outside Paris, Aisne-Marne is easy to get to and we'll worth the effort.
Written July 20, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Aisne-Marne Memorial & Cemetery, Belleau

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