For the people of a small village in the Netherlands, every day is Memorial Day for the thousands of American soldiers buried nearby.

For 70 years, the people of Margraten have personally cared for the graves of Americans killed in World War II – 8,300 of them – in a military cemetery outside the town.

Each one is adopted by a Dutch, Belgian or even German family who makes sure that the service member buried there is remembered. The thousands of families deliver flowers on their soldier’s birthday or date of death, and decorate the graves on Christmas and Memorial Day.

To this day, there is still a waiting list –100 families long – of grateful citizens eager to become memorial caretakers.

(WATCH the video below or READ the Memorial Day special at the Washington Post)

Photo by the American Battle Monuments Commission

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