"Lest We Forget" The American Overseas Memorial Day Association is dedicated to remember and honor the memory of those who gave their lives in World War I and II, whose final resting places are in American Military Cemeteries or in isolated graves in Europe.
The AOMDA was founded in 1920 and incorporated in 1952 under the laws of Washington, DC. Article 3(a) of the Certificate of Incorporation states the AOMDA mission. Which reads in part “To decorate on the National Memorial Day and such other public and patriotic holidays as may be appropriate, the graves, tombs and monuments of all American Servicemen and women of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Auxiliary Services buried overseas”.
In keeping with this Article the AOMDA is responsible for the annual placement of American flags on all known graves in Europe of American Servicepersons. Both the Paris Staff and the AOMDA committee in Brussels, Belgium work to accomplish the Association's mission.
- Placing of flags in American Military Cemeteries is done through the cooperation of the American Battle Monuments Commission.
- For the 300 isolated graves in 275 localities in France, the AOMDA contacts local officials, Civic and Veteran's organizations or individuals (sometimes next-of-kin) to arrange for placing of the flags. Fresh flags are mailed annually by the AOMDA to the person assuming responsibility for decoration of each grave.
- For graves in Denmark (120), Norway (120) and Sweden (12), the AOMDA sends flags to the American Embassies. The Embassies decorate the graves in Denmark and Norway, while the local American Legion Post places the flags in Sweden.
- In Germany, local American Legion Posts provide and place the flags.
- In addition, the AOMDA finances the purchase of floral wreaths for the Memorial Day Ceremonies at World War I and II Cemeteries in England, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Tunisia. The AOMDA committee in Brussels furnishes wreaths for the Ceremonies in Belgium.
In addition to the placement of American flags on graves the AOMDA coordinates & sponsors the annual Memorial Day ceremonies at American Military cemeteries in Belgium, France, Holland, Italy, Luxembourg, Tunisia and the United Kingdom with support from American Embassies, Consulates, the American Battle Monuments Commission and American Legion Posts and local groups.
These Ceremonies include the participation of American and National Military Units, American and National Government Officials as well as Local Authorities. The Ceremonies have become important annual events in the lives of many communities and their residents. The Ceremonies are international testimonials of remembrance and gratitude for the sacrifices made by Americans on behalf of Europeans in two World Wars.
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