ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting the Mardasson Memorial, Bastogne, Belgium: solemnly remembering US losses in the Battle of the Bulge

Updated on October 23, 2012
Flag of Belgium
Flag of Belgium | Source
Memorial to the Battle of the Bulge, Bastogne
Memorial to the Battle of the Bulge, Bastogne | Source
Bastogne Memorial
Bastogne Memorial | Source
Brigadier General Anthony C. McAuliffe, left, and then-Col. Harry W.O. Kinnard II at Bastogne, after victory battle.
Brigadier General Anthony C. McAuliffe, left, and then-Col. Harry W.O. Kinnard II at Bastogne, after victory battle. | Source
Prince Charles of Belgium and President Truman at a White House meeting in 1948
Prince Charles of Belgium and President Truman at a White House meeting in 1948 | Source
King Albert II of the Belgians
King Albert II of the Belgians | Source
Map location of Bastogne, in the Belgian province of Luxembourg
Map location of Bastogne, in the Belgian province of Luxembourg | Source

Some deep roots of Belgian-American friendship

The Battle of the Bulge, which raged in the closing months of World War Two, was especially high in US casualties. Much of the fighting occurred in eastern Belgium as well as in the neighbouring Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. A solemn and imposing monument, known as the Mardasson Memorial, honours the 76,890 US losses during the Battle of the Bulge. The Siege of Bastogne occurred between December 1944 and January 1945.

The Memorial was dedicated in 1950. Largely the work of architect Georges Dedoyard (1897-1988) (1), with murals by Fernand Léger (1881-1955), it is 12 metres high, 31 metres wide; an inner atrium measures 20 metres across.

The stone structure is in the shape of an enormous pentagram, and contains the names of all States of the Union (as they then were).

Memorably, when General Anthony C. McAuliffe (1898-1975), who commanded the 101st Airbourne Division, and his troops were surrounded by German forces and called upon to surrender, he replied: 'Nuts!'

After the end of World War Two, General McAuliffe was invited to unveil the German surrender documents at the National Archives, in Washington, DC. (A nut tree was also planted in Bastogne!)

The name 'Mardasson' refers to a hill of that name, some 2 kilometres from the Downtown area of Bastogne, on which the Memorial is built. The Wiltz river flows nearby; and students of military history may recall the name 'Wiltz' in association with the Battle of the Bulge: a town of that name in the neighbouring Grand Duchy of Luxembourg suffered considerable damage during the Battle.

Bastogne itself is situated in a Belgian province also known as Luxembourg, in the Walloon region (French: Région wallonne ).

My visit to the Mardasson Memorial was curtailed, but if I get the opportunity to visit the district again I would be very interested to spend more time there.

Nearby is an Historical Centre, opened in 1976 by Prince Albert of Liège (1934-), who in 1993 became King Albert II of the Belgians, and who has been a repeated visitor to the Mardasson Memorial. After World War Two, when King Albert's uncle, Prince Charles of Belgium (1903-1983) was Regent of Belgium, the land on which the Memorial was to be built was gifted to the United States after World War Two, and earth from the site was presented to US President Harry S. Truman.

October 23, 2012


(1) Other works by Architect Dedoyard include a number of bridges across the Meuse River in Liège, including the Pont des Arches and the Pont Kennedy .

Also worth seeing

In Bastogne itself, McAuliffe Square has a bust of General McAuliffe and a commemorative plaque.

St Vith , (distance: 52 kilometres) has Battle of the Bulge memories, having suffered severe damage during the Battle.


How to get there: Brussels Airlines flies from New York to Brussels Airport (Brussel Nationaal / Bruxelles-National ), from where car rental is available (distance from Brussels Airport to Bastogne : 178 kilometres). Some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. You are advised to check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. For any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities, please refer to appropriate consular sources.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

For your visit, these items may be of interest


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)