I visited the cemetery early on a June morning in 2000 after first walking the beach below. It was a very moving experience for me to walk among so many graves of my countrymen. They seemed to stretch on forever. I cannot look at these pictures without finding tears in my eyes.
The Memorial overlooks a reflecting pool and the graves of 9,387 American dead. The names of another 1,557 Americans who lost their lives in the conflict but could not be located and/or identified are inscribed on the walls of a semicircular garden at the east side of the memorial.
France has granted the United States a special, perpetual concession to the land occupied by the cemetery, free of any charge or any tax. This cemetery is managed by the American government, under Congressional acts that provide yearly financial support for maintaining them, with most military and civil personnel employed abroad. The U.S. flag flies over these granted soils.
The cemetery is located on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach and the English Channel. It covers 70 hectare (172 acres), and contains the remains of 9,387 American military dead, most of whom were killed during the invasion of Normandy and ensuing military operations in World War II. Included are graves of Army Air Force crews shot down over France as early as 1942. The graves face westward, towards the United States.