In Belleau, France, U.S. Marines will be treading on hallowed ground.

To the north in Colleville-sur-Mer, France, a tribute at the Normandy American Cemetery serves as a warm-up for the upcoming June 6 D-Day events.

And in Carthage, Tunisia, an almost forgotten American cemetery will be revisited.

Thirty-one ceremonies will mark Memorial Day over the coming days at 20 American Battle Monument Commission cemeteries in Europe and two monuments.

Despite deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and the downsizing of U.S. forces in Europe, troops will be in place at each ceremony, according to John Tomassi, chief of community relations for the U.S. European Command.

"Every ceremony has an appropriate representation," Tomassi said. "This is something that needs to be done."

This year marks the 90th anniversary of the end of World War I, which includes the U.S. Marine Corps’ famous stand at Belleau Wood, 60 miles east of Paris, which saved the French capital from the German army.

"From the day you go to boot camp, you hear about it," said Master Sgt. Donald Preston, a spokesman for U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe. "It’s inborn to the Marines to go there and commemorate the actions of those who’ve gone before us."

About 250 Marines from Parris Island, S.C., and Europe are attending the event Sunday at Aisne-Marne American Cemetery. Marine Commandant Gen. James T. Conway will give the keynote speech. Bands, color guards and drill teams will add to the pageantry.

"Seeing how many of the French people come to attend, the Marines feel honored," Preston said. "Even though we don’t speak the same language, they come up to you and shake your hand and say ‘thank you’ in English. They’re still very appreciative of what happened 90 years ago."

At historic Carthage, site of the North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial, 2,741 U.S. servicemembers are buried along the Mediterranean coast. Gen. William E. Ward, commander of the U.S. Africa Command, will be giving the keynote speech during a Tuesday ceremony.

"It’s the first time we are supporting it at this level," said Eric Elliott, an AFRICOM spokesman. "In previous years there perhaps was a Navy ship in port that would do it with the captain."

Memorial Day services

BelgiumArdennes American Cemetery: Saturday, 10 a.m.Flanders Field American Cemetery: Sunday, 3 p.m.Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery: Saturday, 4 p.m.

EnglandBrookwood American Cemetery: Sunday, 11 a.m.Cambridge American Cemetery: Monday, 11 a.m.

FranceAll ceremonies are on Sunday:

Aisne-Marne American Cemetery: 9 a.m.Brittany American Cemetery: 4 p.m.Epinal American Cemetery: 3 p.m.Lorraine American Cemetery: 11 a.m.Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery: 3 p.m.Normandy American Cemetery: 10:30 a.m.Oise-Aisne American Cemetery: 3 p.m.Rhone American Cemetery: 10 a.m.Saint Mihiel American Cemetery: 4 p.m.Somme American Cemetery: 3 p.m.Suresnes American Cemetery: 2:30 p.m.

ItalyBoth ceremonies are on Monday:

Florence American Cemetery: 11 a.m.Sicily-Rome American Cemetery: 11 a.m.

LuxembourgLuxembourg American Cemetery: Saturday, noon.

The NetherlandsNetherlands American Cemetery: Sunday, 3 p.m.

TunisiaNorth Africa American Cemetery: Tuesday, 11 a.m.

Source: U.S. European Command

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