German Italian Cemetery Annual Memorial Service

November 18, 2018 @ 12:00 pm
German Italian PW Cemetery at Ft McClellan, AL
Klas Duncan

The Annual Memorial Service at the German Italian PW Cemetery at Ft McClellan, AL, will be held on Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 12:00 noon.

For almost four decades, services have been held at the cemetery to pay tribute to the 26 Germans and 3 Italians buried there.  Only four German soldiers buried there were interned at the Ft McClellan PW Camp.  The others died and were buried in camps in nearby states.  When those camps closed, the remains were moved for final burial at the Ft McClellan Cemetery.

The third Sunday in November has been the traditional date for the service as it coincides with many European Memorial Day Services.  When Ft McClellan was an active installation, the US Army conducted these dignified services each year.  Military wore dress uniforms, the Honor Guard presented flags and the Army Band provided appropriate music.  Representatives from all three countries spoke and placed wreaths at the site.  A reception followed with fellowship and renewed friendships.  When the post closed, local civilian citizens took up the responsibility of the annual service.

While there are German and Italian PWs buried elsewhere in the US, it is believed the service at Ft McClellan is the only civilian one that continues to honor these fallen dead.  Volunteers give their time and support to this event that usually has 85-100 attendees.

The service follows the traditional format established by the military, The JSU ROTC Department provides the Color Guard, civilian leaders speak, flags are placed on each grave and wreaths are laid.

German Italian Cemetery is located on Shipley Road at Ft McClellan.  Shipley Road is off AL Highway 21, north of Anniston, just across from Wal-Mart.

A reception is held immediately after the ceremony at Cane Creek Gardens located a few miles from the cemetery.  Directions will be provided.


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