Only five months into the raging battles of World War I, an unofficial Christmas truce occurred in the No Man’s Land between German, French and British forces along the Western Front. Singing Christmas carols, the soldiers climbed out of the trenches and forged small bonds of brotherhood.
Belgium is a country of peaceful farmland, canals and charming small towns. But, due to its location between France and Germany, it was the site of terrible fighting in both World War I and World War II.
Whenever we get visitors, I’m proud to show them around the handsome wine village I now call home. First mentioned in a document dating back to 765, my adopted town has more than its fair share of landmarks and history.
With its rugged, mountainous wilderness, unspoiled coastal towns, quaint medieval architecture, cutting-edge fashion sense and arguably the world’s best beer, it’s a wonder Belgium doesn’t rank higher on the list of outbound destination countries for U.S.
There are noble American monuments on European soil that stand as a constant reminder of the hardships U.S. soldiers experienced during World War II. The war separated over a million soldiers from their families, bringing them to foreign soil in an effort to defeat Adolf Hitler on many fronts.
Walk through the gates of the Luxembourg American Cemetery and you are on hallowed ground. Rich, green lawns lie surrounded by woods of spruce, beech and oak trees. White crosses stand in memorial to the soldiers who gave their lives in World War II to defend this area of the world for freedom.