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A French veteran wears a World War I era uniform Sunday morning at an American Memorial Day ceremony at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial in France.

Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes
A French veteran wears a World War I era uniform Sunday morning at an American Memorial Day ceremony at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial in France. Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes ()
A French veteran wears a World War I era uniform Sunday morning at an American Memorial Day ceremony at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial in France.

Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes
A French veteran wears a World War I era uniform Sunday morning at an American Memorial Day ceremony at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial in France. Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes ()
A Color Guard comprised of all four U.S. services prepares to present the colors Sunday morning during an American Memorial Day ceremony at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial in France.

Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes
A Color Guard comprised of all four U.S. services prepares to present the colors Sunday morning during an American Memorial Day ceremony at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial in France. Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes ()
U.S. and French flags are planted next to headstones of the more than 14,000 American servicemembers who lost their lives in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive of World War I. An American Memorial Day ceremony was held Sunday at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial in France.

Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes
U.S. and French flags are planted next to headstones of the more than 14,000 American servicemembers who lost their lives in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive of World War I. An American Memorial Day ceremony was held Sunday at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial in France. Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes ()
French veterans carry flags during a pass and review Sunday morning after an American Memorial Day ceremony at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial in France.

Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes
French veterans carry flags during a pass and review Sunday morning after an American Memorial Day ceremony at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial in France. Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes ()
French collectors of American military memorabilia prepare to drive to a reception in the village of Romagne-sous-Montfaucon after an American Memorial Day ceremony at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial in France.

Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes
French collectors of American military memorabilia prepare to drive to a reception in the village of Romagne-sous-Montfaucon after an American Memorial Day ceremony at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial in France. Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes ()
Guests and visitors at the American Memorial Day ceremony Sunday at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial in France walk toward the main entrance of the cemetery after the ceremony.

Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes
Guests and visitors at the American Memorial Day ceremony Sunday at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial in France walk toward the main entrance of the cemetery after the ceremony. Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes ()
A woman from the village of Romagne-sous-Montfaucon watches the French Band of the Armored Cavalry perform in front of her house after an American Memorial Day ceremony at the nearby Meuse-Argonne Cemetery and Memorial in France.

Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes
A woman from the village of Romagne-sous-Montfaucon watches the French Band of the Armored Cavalry perform in front of her house after an American Memorial Day ceremony at the nearby Meuse-Argonne Cemetery and Memorial in France. Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes ()
From left to right, U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Aaron Dickerson, Airman 1st Class Bonnie Burks, Airman 1st Class Josiah Austin, from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, walk to their bus after a French-hosted reception that followed an American Memorial Day Ceremony at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial in France. A large group of Airmen from Ramstein volunteered to participate in the ceremony held Sunday morning.

Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes
From left to right, U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Aaron Dickerson, Airman 1st Class Bonnie Burks, Airman 1st Class Josiah Austin, from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, walk to their bus after a French-hosted reception that followed an American Memorial Day Ceremony at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial in France. A large group of Airmen from Ramstein volunteered to participate in the ceremony held Sunday morning. Joshua L. DeMotts/Stars and Stripes ()

ROMAGNE-SOUS-MONTFAUCON, France — A steady rain did not deter a group of U.S. and French military and civilian dignitaries from attending a Memorial Day ceremony Sunday at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial.

Just outside the village of Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial sprawls over 130 acres. With its 14,246 graves, it is where the largest number of American dead rest in Europe. Most of those buried at the cemetery died in World War I.

Among those in attendance were the mayor of Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, Nicolas Raffa; Brig. Gen. Blaine Holt, director of logistics for U.S. European Command; as well as various French and U.S. military units.

demotts.joshua@stripes.com

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