Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial. In stark contrast to French cemeteries which, in my experience are pretty much solid stone, this resting ground is resolutely American: lush green lawns with crisp white markers. In fact, if anything, the white Greek temple like chapel on the top of the hill reminded me of the Custis-Lee Mansion that overlooks Arlington National Cemetery just across the river from Washington, DC. And when you look down from the hill in Suresnes, you don't see the Lincoln Memorial but there is an impressive view of the Seine and the city of Paris before you.
Why an American cemetery in the suburbs of Paris? Most of the 1,500 some headstones mark the graves of personnel who served in World War I, many of them victims of the Spanish flu who died in a nearby military hospital. Others served in various capacities in World War II and for various reasons were never repatriated. Thanks to the generosity of the French state, the land was given to the U.S. for its perpetual use, free of charge or taxation.
The day I happened in for a visit, my friends and I were greeted by the cemetery's superintendent who shared both his devotion to maintaining the memory of these fallen soldiers and his gratitude to France and her people for their longstanding support of the U.S. from its very origins. He also mentioned that he would like nothing better than for visitors and residents alike to come out to the site.
The Suresnes site is maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission which operates 24 American cemeteries and 25 memorials, monuments, and markers in 15 countries. It is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm with the exception of New Year's Day and Christmas.