An Engaging Remembrance: A Review of the American Battle Monuments Commission Website

Rachel A. Santose

Abstract


Over 100,000 US military personnel died during World War I, with many of these deaths occurring directly on foreign battlefields. Public Law 389, enacted by the 66th Congress, as well as Public Law 360, enacted by the 80th Congress, allowed for a family’s repatriation of soldier remains to the United States for burial in a national or private cemetery. In 1919, however, the US War Department decided to establish permanent American military cemeteries in Europe and offered this option as an alternative to repatriation. To persuade family members to consent, the War Department needed to ensure these cemeteries were impressive and significant symbols of the American sacrifice on foreign soil; therefore, the War Department detailed a group of Army officers to serve as the Battle Monuments Board in 1921. Two years later, on March 4, 1923, Congress passed the Act for the Creation of an American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC), which established one authoritative organization under Title 36 of the United States Code to control the construction of monuments and memorials to the American military in foreign countries.


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References


Elizabeth G. Grossman, “Architect for a Public Client: The Monuments and Chapels of the American Battle Monuments Commission,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 43, no. 2 (1984): 122.

An Act for the Creation of an American Battle Monuments Commission, Public Law 546, U.S. Code 36 (1923), §2103.

Committee on the Whole House, To Create an American Battle Monuments Commission, 67th Cong., 2d sess., 1923, H. Rep. 1504, 2.

John F. Harbeson, “A Collaborative Undertaking,” American Institute of Architects Journal 36 (1961): 35.

“History,” American Battle Monuments Commission, accessed April 20, 2015, www.abmc.gov/about-us/history.

American Battle Monuments Commission, American Battle Monuments Commission: FY 2010-2015 Strategic Plan (Washington DC, 2009): 9.

House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Rep. John Runyan Holds a Hearing on National Cemeteries Update, 112th Cong., 2d sess., 2012, 11.

ABMC, American Battle Monuments Commission: FY 2010-2015 Strategic Plan (Washington DC, 2009): 9.

“Our Services,” American Battle Monuments Commission, accessed April 20, 2015, www.abmc.gov/about-us/our-services.

“Learning & Resources,” American Battle Monuments Commission, accessed April 20, 2015, www.abmc.gov/learning-resources.

“FAQ’s,” American Battle Monuments Commission, accessed April 20, 2015, www.abmc.gov/about-us/faqs.

“Multimedia,” American Battle Monuments Commission, accessed April 20, 2015, www.abmc.gov/multimedia.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5860/dttp.v44i1.6062

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