EN FR NL
MEMORIAL DAY 2014: MAY 24 & 25, 2014

President Obama Visits the Flanders Field American Cemetery

During his visit to Belgium on 26 March, the President of the United States of America visited the Flanders Field American Cemetery, together with the King of the Belgians and the Belgian Prime Minister.  Upon their arrival at the cemetery, Superintendent Chris Arseneault welcomed the President, King, and Prime Minister in the historic Gold Star room, so named for the "Gold Star mothers” who came to the cemetery after the war to mourn their lost sons.  Superintendent Arseneault then took his three distinguished guests on a small tour of the cemetery, recounting along the way the biographies of a few of the servicemen buried there.  


President Obama, King Philip, and Prime Minister Di Rupo each gave moving speeches.  President Obama thanked Belgium for being one of America’s best allies and praised the courage of "brave little Belgium” during the war.  (For a video of the speech, click here.)  King Philip expressed the Belgian people’s gratitude toward their liberators that will never be forgotten.  (For a video of the speech, click here.)  Prime Minister Di Rupo emphasized the values that America and Belgium share in common.  (For a video of the speech, click here.)  Following the speeches, the dignitaries laid wreaths on behalf of the American and Belgian peoples, and the national anthems were sung.  

It was the first time that a President of the United States had ever visited the Flanders Field American Cemetery, let alone in the company of the King and the Prime Minister.  It was truly a historic day.
back