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Flanders Field American Cemetery & Memorial

Waregem, Belgium

Flanders Field American Cemetery & Memorial is one of eight overseas World War I cemeteries designed and administered by the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC), a federal agency created in 1923. Flanders Field, located in Waregem, West Flanders, Belgium, is the only ABMC World War I cemetery in Belgium. Another World War I cemetery is located outside London, England, and the remaining six in northern France. ABMC hired prominent French-born American architect Paul P. Cret (1876-1945) as its consulting architect in 1925. Cret guided every aspect of the ABMC construction program from choosing locations and selecting architects to inspecting progress and making maintenance recommendations. In addition to chapels at each cemetery, ABMC also saw to the construction of eleven free-standing World War I memorials at various sites in the three countries. There are two small memorials in Belgium—Kemmel and Audenarde Monuments—with the largest monuments at the site of major military accomplishments in France.

Documentation of Flanders Field American Cemetery & Memorial was undertaken in 2013-14 by the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) of the Heritage Documentation Programs (HDP) of the National Park Service, Richard O'Connor, Chief. The project was sponsored by the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC), Honorable Max Cleland, Secretary. Project planning was coordinated by Paul Dolinsky, Chief, HALS, and by Charles Hunt, World War I Regional Director, ABMC. The field work, including hand measuring and terrestrial laser scanning, was undertaken by Project Supervisor Christopher M. Stevens, HALS Landscape Architect, and HDP Architects Jason W. McNatt (HALS) and Paul Davidson (HABS). Stevens, McNatt, Davidson, and Landscape Architecture Technician Bradley Odom (LSU) produced the measured drawings. HDP Architect Ryan Pierce (HALS) produced the virtual tour and animation of the laser scan data. The historical reports were written by HABS Historian Lisa P. Davidson, Ph.D. The large-format photography was produced by contract photographer Brian Grogan. On-site assistance at Flanders Field was provided by Christopher D. Arseneault, Superintendent; Christopher D. Sims, Cemetery Associate; Martin Degrande, Head Gardener; and by the ABMC maintenance staff.

The American Battle Monuments Commission, established by the Congress in 1923, is an agency of the executive branch of the federal government. ABMC—guardian of America's overseas commemorative cemeteries and memorials—honors the service, achievements and sacrifice of U.S. Armed Forces. ABMC's commemorative mission includes:

- Designing, constructing, operating and maintaining permanent American cemeteries in foreign countries.
- Establishing and maintaining U.S. military memorials, monuments and markers where American armed forces have served overseas since April 6, 1917, and within the United States when directed by public law.
- Controlling the design and construction of permanent U.S. military monuments and markers by other U.S. citizens and organizations, both public and private, and encouraging their maintenance.

For more information please visit the Flanders Field American Cemetery website.

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