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Saturday May 18, 2024

US WW1 soldier buried in France 105 years after death

By AFP
June 08, 2023

SERINGES-ET-NESLES, France: An unidentified US World War I soldier whose remains were accidentally uncovered in northern France last year was buried with full military honours on Wednesday, in the first such ceremony for 35 years. Hundreds of thousands of troops -- many undiscovered or unidentified -- are buried across northern France, the epicentre of brutal trench warfare that defined the 1914-1918 conflict´s western European front. The unknown US soldier is believed to have been killed in July 1918 and was identified as American by equipment found alongside a few bones that were the only remains of his body.

He was buried on Wednesday at the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery, around 113-km northeast of Paris, which holds the graves of more than 6,000 other US soldiers killed in a 1918 offensive against German forces. French, US and German army units attended the ceremony, during which the soldier was awarded a medal by American army chief of staff James McConville.

The cemetery´s superintendent Hubert Caloud said it was the first time since 1988 that a US serviceman had been buried at an American World War I battle commission monument in France. “For 105 years, this guy was all alone. To have people leave work and be here is very meaningful,” Caloud said. “We are very content he is buried with his fellow soldiers.”