Commander K. at ABMC cemetery Florence, IT NOW CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC
Napoleon said, “The boundaries of a nation’s empire are marked by the graves of her soldiers.” The boundaries of America’s Empire of Liberty* are demarcated by the graves of the American Battle Monuments Commission www.abmc.gov. The Commission has eleven sites in France with soldiers from both World Wars. They lovingly tend the graves of those who died in the Mexican-American war (1846-1848) in Mexico City and those who perished in Operation Torch in Tunisia (1942).
Today a visitor will find this message on the ABMC site…”NOTICE TO ABMC VISITORS Due to a lack of funding for ABMC operations (U.S. Government shutdown), ABMC cemeteries and memorials are temporarily closed. We are unable to respond to your inquiries or provide the services and products described in the “Services Available” section of this Web site. We regret any inconvenience these temporary actions may cause. ABMC will resume normal operations when a new funding measure is passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by the President of the United States.”
All US overseas cemeteries are now closed. The Normandy cemetery overlooking Omaha beach is shut. Flanders Field in Belgium is closed. The This means that American family members hoping to visit the graves of loved ones, regardless of how long they may have travelled, are out of luck. The Transatlantic scout troops, among others, are now not welcome to teach the lesson of sacrifice to a new generation across these monuments to our fallen heroes.
General Pershing said that “Time will not dim the glory of their deeds.” Our government, however, has managed to limit our access to their memory.