Allocation of graves or names on the Walls of the Missing for adoption

Only the board of The Foundation for Adopting Graves at the American Cemetery in Margraten is authorized to allot a grave of a liberator or a name on the Walls of the Missing. An adoption is legitimate only after the adopter has received a certificate signed by the chairperson and the secretary of the Foundation. The certificate contains the personal details of the liberator as far as known to the management of the cemetery and the Foundation.

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Adopting a grave of a fallen liberator or of a name on the Walls of the Missing on the American Cemetery means:

Visit the grave
The adopter is supposed to visit the cemetery a couple of times each year. The frequency of which is up to the adopter.

Place flowers
The adopter is expected to place flowers at the grave regularly and more specifically on special occasions like Memorial Day. Near the Visitors Centre green pitch-vases can be found to put the flowers in. Because of regular lawn-mowing work the use of any other decoration than cut-flowers is inappropriate. The cemetery’s personnel will clear the flowers as soon as they have withered.

Flowers at the Walls of the Missing
Those who have adopted names of liberators on the Walls of the Missing cannot use the pitch-vases. A solution is to put the flowers in a so-called oasis and label them with the name of the missing liberator. You can place this oasis at the foot of the wall. For the flowers not to wither rapidly, it is advised to wet the oasis beforehand and put it in a small plastic bag.

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Opening hours and contribution

Opening hours Cemetery
The cemetery is open 7 days a week from 9 am – 5 pm. On Christmas Day and New Year’s Day the cemetery is closed. On May 4th (Commemoration of the Dead) the cemetery remains open during evening hours.

As a compensation for costs the Foundation requests a voluntary once only contribution of minimum € 10.00 per adoption. If you want to support the Foundation with a larger sum of money then we will accept this with due gratitude. Donations are accepted as tax deductable by the Dutch Tax Authority. Your contribution or donation can be transferred to account number 15 88 20 045 c/o The Foundation for Adopting Graves at the American Cemetery in Margraten, IBAN NL89 RABO 0158 8200 45 , BIC: RABONL2U

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Changes concerning the Adoption Register

The Foundation asks adopters to keep the secretary informed of changes in order to keep the Adoption Register up-to-date. Especially changes of address and obituary notices. Descendants who want to take over the adoption from their parents are more than welcome to do so and are asked to inform the secretary of the Foundation.

Number of graves and names
As long as there is a waiting list for adopting a grave the Foundation has set quota. That means that an adopter cannot adopt more than two graves and/or more than three names on the Walls of the Missing. In case a larger number of graves has been allotted in the past, then this number will be maintained.

Transfer of adoption
The Foundation will do its utmost to keep track of its adopters or their descendants. In case this fails in spite of all our efforts, then the Foundation maintains its right to transfer the grave-adoption to a new adopter.

(last amended in October, 2012)

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  • “To think that 70 years later, there are Dutch people who carry on this tradition is just so inspiring. And, for their care of our lost family members and loved ones, we are sincerely grateful.”

  • “Let’s remember our heroes.”

  • “Americans gave their lives to defeat the Nazis. The Dutch have never forgotten.”

    Front page Washington Post | 25 May 2015