These cemeteries, created and maintained by the U.S. government through the American Battle Monuments Commission, are permanent memorial sites, built to stand the test of time. Collectively they contain the remains of 125,000 Americans. There are 94,000 more names commemorated on Walls of the Missing. Dignified and serene, they were created to honor America's fallen, but they are also intended to inspire and teach the living. "Hallowed Grounds" documents these remarkable shrines, bringing them to life with stunning visuals and powerful storytelling.
There are American World War I and World War II cemeteries in England, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, Italy, Tunisia and the Philippines. All are places of astonishing natural beauty, embellished with great architecture and powerful works of art. It's the contrast of these remarkable burial grounds with the horrors of war that gives them their profound impact.
Most of the cemeteries are located on or near major battlefields. The narrative provides a general history of the wars and briefly recounts the battles and operations that took place in the areas where the cemeteries are located. Each cemetery contains tales of courage and unselfish service to comrades and country. Some of the fallen profiled in the show are well known: poet Joyce Kilmer, the bandleader Glenn Miller, the five Sullivan Brothers, General George S. Patton. But most were ordinary men and women caught up in the calamity of war.
These military cemeteries also personify American diversity, and the film includes portraits of some of the many African-American, Hispanic-American, Japanese-American, Native-American, and Anglo-Americans who are buried in them.
"Hallowed Grounds" allows Americans to see for the first time some of their great national treasures. It seeks to heighten respect for those who lost and continue to lose their lives for America, and reminds viewers of the great and tragic cost of war in the pursuit of liberty.