Monceau-Imbrechies Memorial, Belgium

There’s a ridge called ‘Hill 270’ by the American troops back in September 1944. This ridge separates the village of Monceau-Imbrechies from Macon, located north of the ridge. On that particular ridge happened the first clash of the liberation of Belgium, on September 2nd, 1944.

This abstract of an original U.S. Army map (dated 1943) shows the location of the ridge between Macon and Monceau-Imbrechies. (Courtesy of the Author)

There, in the late morning of this summer day, the soldiers of the 60th Infantry Regiment came up, thinking the ridge is the best place to observe the town of Macon down the valley.The Germans are reported occupying Macon… It’s 11:30 in the morning, and the Germans start to bomb that ridge. Twelve brave men are killed.

Today, a impressive memorial stands on that ridge, symbol  of the first American heroes that gave their lives for Belgian People’s Freedom. This memorial is one of the biggest American-dedicated memorial of its kind. Twelve markers symbolize the twelve soldiers who died on this ground. In front of them, a stone shaped like the Belgian territory supports an American star, symbolizing the friendship between the two great countries.

Twelve markers to honor the twelve first heroes that died in Belgium, September 2nd, 1944. (Courtesy of the Author)

Later on, the Belgian Army’s 4th Logistic Battalion offered a main battle tank (M47 Patton) and a Antiaircraft Gun (40-mm Bofors), which are now flanking the memorial. This quiet site overlooks the valley where the battle took place between the 2. SS Panzerdivision and the men of the 60th Infantry Regiment. It is now a symbol of peace and liberty, and those heroes who died are remembered for ever on the Belgian soil.