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5,000th photo found: a face for half of the soldiers

Published: Sunday, September 10 2017

A face to every name. That is the mission that The Faces of Margraten tribute at the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial in Margraten, the Netherlands set itself. The ongoing effort to locate the missing photos has proven itself to be successful. Recently, the 5,000th photo was found. This means that we can now give a face to half of the U.S. soldiers who either have found their final resting place or are memorialized in Margraten. The faces will be on display again from May 2-6, 2018, when the tribute will take place a third time. On September 10, the 5,000th photo was already presented to the cemetery.

Nicholas D. Puglia
PUGLIA Nicholas D MAR E 8 4 02he 5,000th photo is that of Sergeant Nicholas D. Puglia, who lived in New Jersey. Nicholas served with the 834th Bomber Squadron, 486th Bomber Group. He flew as a radio operator on the B-17 "Blue Streak." The bomber got hit over the target by German anti-aircraft fire, after which it crashed in the German town Kriegsdorf. A photo of the final moments of the downing plane appeared in New York and London newspapers during the war.
Nicholas and two other crew members found their final resting places in Margraten. Nicholas' family submitted his photo to the tribute just prior to visiting his grave this Summer.

Faces return in 2018
All faces will be on display again at the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial from May 2-6, 2018. All photos will be put next to their graves. In this way, the names on the grave markers will literally get a face. It will be the third time that this tribute to the men and women who lost their lives during World War II will take place. The full program will be announced at a later point of time.

The quest continues
The quest for the missing photos will continue. The relatives of the soldiers who have been either buried or memorialized in Margraten continue to be an important source of new photos. Moreover, a large number of volunteers in both the Netherlands and the United States work tirelessly, hoping to locate more photos. They find more photos in newspaper archives and receive them through veterans' associations. They also contact local libraries and historical societies in the United States as part of their efforts. Anyone who posses a photo is encouraged to submit it through the website. The tribute hopes to have 5,500 photos by next year; last year we only had 4,100.

IMG 20170910 151333282 HDRAbout the tribute
The Faces of Margraten tribute took place for the first time in 2015. The tribute is a project by the Foundation United Adopters American War Graves, which is a group of Belgian and Dutch adopters of American war graves in Europe. Through projects like The Faces of Margraten and the Fields of Honor - Database, the foundation aims to preserve the memory to these soldiers. The latter is an online database in which all 5,000 photos can be found, among memorial pages for about 25,000 soldiers. This foundation does not maintain the Adopt-A-Grave program for this cemetery. This program is namely maintained by the Foundation for Adopting Graves American War Cemetery Margraten.

Donate

Would you like to contribute to this project? By donating 10 dollars, you will enable us to give one soldier a face. You can donate via PayPal by clicking the button below or click here to read more.

About

The project The Faces of Margraten is a project by the Dutch non-profitorganization Stichting Verenigde Adoptanten Amerikaanse Oorlogsgraven (Foundation United Adopters American War Graves), whose aim it is to remember U.S. soldiers buried in various overseas American cemeteries. For more information please visit www.svaao.nl or visit our Fields of Honor - Database at www.fieldsofhonor-database.com.

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