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American Battle Monuments Commission marks 100th anniversary



The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) began the commemoration of its centennial anniversary today with the premiere of the documentary Our Promise: 100 years of the American Battle Monuments Commission at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., co-hosted with the National Archives Foundation.

“This documentary represents just a fraction of ABMC’s history, with hundreds of thousands of lives memorialized at our sites,” said ABMC Chairman, retired Lt. Gen Mark P. Hertling. “Theirs is a legacy worth preserving, and we are honored to steward their memory and ensure their sacrifice is never forgotten.”

Our Promise:100 years of the American Battle Monuments Commission captures moments at ABMC sites and stories from its history. From misty mornings in Normandy to the golden hour in the Philippines, the documentary is a celebration of the care that America gives to its fallen soldiers who have been laid to rest on foreign soil. The film shows the voices of families of the fallen remembered by ABMC, ABMC employees, and Americans visiting sites abroad. Viewers also hear from citizens of other countries who work at the sites and whose ancestors fought alongside Americans—all sharing what it means to be involved in the process of caring for, maintaining, and honoring the legacy of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

A recording of the event and the documentary can be found on ABMC’s YouTube platform.

“Our 100-year-old agency is in the midst of an evolution,” said ABMC Secretary Charles K. Djou. “While this is an occasion for us to reflect on the service and sacrifice of the past century, it is also an opportunity for us to enrich the ways we approach preservation, education, and commemoration so these sites and the legacies of the individuals entrusted to us live on in perpetuity.”

On March 4, 1923, President Warren G. Harding signed into law a bill presented by Congressman Stephen Porter of Pennsylvania, establishing ABMC to build, and later maintain, cemeteries and memorials for fallen service members overseas. Today, ABMC administers, operates and maintains 26 permanent American burial grounds and 32 separate memorials, monuments, and markers on five continents as they continue to uphold the promise made by the agency’s first chairman, General of the Armies John J. Pershing, that “Time will not dim the glory of their deeds.”

The documentary will continue to be shown at regional screenings at the World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Mo.; the World War II Museum in New Orleans, La.; the Pritzker Military Museum and Library in Chicago, Ill.; and the USS Midway in San Diego, Calif.

The public is also invited to join the centennial commemoration with an act of remembrance, such as virtually exploring ABMC’s sites at, searching its burial register for information about loved ones memorialized by ABMC, or planning a trip to visit a site in person.

For more information about ABMC, please visit our social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Media Contact, ABMC’s U.S. Headquarters

Ashleigh Byrnes (U.S.)


Media Contact, ABMC’s Overseas Operations (France)

Hélène Chaulin (France)

+33 (0)6 38 13 56 25

The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) operates and maintains 26 cemeteries and 32 federal memorials, monuments, and commemorative plaques in 17 countries throughout the world, including the United States. The four memorials in the United States are: the World War I Memorial in Washington, D.C.; the Honolulu memorial located within the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii; the West Coast Memorial located within the Presidio National Park in San Francisco, Calif; and the East Coast Memorial located within Battery City Park in New York, N.Y. Since March 4, 1923, ABMC’s sacred mission remains to honor the service, achievements, and sacrifice of more than 200,000 U.S. service members buried and memorialized at our sites. For more information about ABMC, visit

Date Taken: 03.03.2023
Date Posted: 03.07.2023 15:40
Story ID: 439884
Location: ARLINGTON, VA, US 

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