While many of the details required to construct the reproduction monuments and Normandy cemetery plots were provided by the American Battle Monuments Commission, some details could not be determined in time for the first exhibition of the memorial on June 6th, 2004. To clarify these details in preparation for the 2005 memorial display, the ABMC provided communication with the Director of Operations for the American Cemetery in Normandy France. The Director's responses correct these points at the Atlanta, memorial.
The sections of plots "A" and "B" which were reproduced in Atlanta, were derived from a complete list of Normandy interred names provided by the ABMC. (NOTE: This complete list of names is available on this site in the Downloads section.) In plot "A", row 3, grave 25, there was no name on the complete list for that 25th position. For the purpose of the reproduction markers in the Atlanta memorial, the marker for DONALD G. MACBAIN PFC. 119 INF 30 DIV NEW JERSEY JULY 25 1944 A 3 24 32956004 was placed next to the marker for DONALD C. MCGEARY SF2C. USNR MINNESOTA JUNE 07 1944 A 3 26 06488062, eliminating grave 25. It is now known that grave 25 is the grave of an UNKNOWN. It is marked with a Latin-Cross which bears the inscription "HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY A COMRADE IN ARMS KNOWN BUT TO GOD". The missing marker will be added to the 2005 Atlanta memorial.
Another piece of information which is not contained in the complete list of Normandy interred, is the type of marker associated with each grave. Normandy contains 9,238 Latin-Crosses (307 of which are "UNKNOWN"), and 149 Star of David markers. In the Atlanta memorial, the reproduction markers were all Latin Crosses, assumed from the name on the marker. It is now known that EFRAIM LOEW PVT. 121 INF 8 DIV NEW JERSEY JULY 08 1944 B 6 20 32070977, was incorrectly provided with a Latin-Cross, where he should have been provided with a Star of David. A reproduction Star of David will be constructed for the 2005 Atlanta memorial.
The sign at the Atlanta memorial stated "ONE OF ONLY FOUR WOMEN BURIED AT NORMANDY IS INCLUDED HERE A, 1, 24" Grave A, 1, 24 is that of "GLADYS H. COUCH PFC. 38 INF 2 DIV TEXAS JUNE 19 1944 18081275". While there are indeed four women buried at Normandy, a soldier's gender is not recorded on the complete list of Normandy interred. It is now known that in spite of his name, Gladys was a man. It was not uncommon for male names of the early 1900s to be what would today be considered more typically feminine. The serial numbers for women in the military begin with the letter "A" and therefore Gladys's serial number of 18081275 does indicate his gender. The four women buried at Normandy are:
MARY J. BARLOW (A-130463) PFC Women's Army Corps, July 08, 1945 Connecticut A 19 30
ELIZABETH RICHARDSON (Civilian) American Red Cross , July 25, 1945 Indiana A 21 5
MARY H. BANKSTON (A-207949) PFC Women's Army Corps, July 08, 1945 New York D 20 46
DOLORES M. BROWNE (A-125448) SGT Women's Army Corps, July 13, 1945 Connecticut F 13 19
While the reproduction monuments were constructed to 1:1 scale, the spacing of the monuments was not known at the time of the 2004 Atlanta memorial. The reproduction markers were positioned 7 feet (84 inches) apart (side to side and front to back). This was done not only because the actual spacing was not known, but also to fit as many markers in the reproduction plots as possible. In Normandy, the actual markers are spaced side to side, 1.90 meters apart (74.8 inches or just over 6 feet). The Normandy markers are positioned between rows, by 2.90M (114.17 inches, or just over 9.5 feet). FOR 2006, The Atlanta memorial was altered to a 6 foot, 3 inch X 8 foot, 5 inch spacing to more accurately depict the true spacing in Normandy.
The position of each marker relative to each other was known, yet it was not known what position (front or back) the name, rank and home state inscriptions should be placed on. As it turns out, the Atlanta memorial places the name on what is now known to be the back of the Normandy marker, rather than on the front. It would change the entire layout of the display to correct this error, so for the 2006 memorial, the replica monuments will continue to display the names towards the street, which is the back of the actual markers in Normandy.
FLAGS ON GRAVES
The 2004 Atlanta memorial displayed the flags of the United States (to the marker's right) and France(to the marker's left) in the proper position, but the flags should not be in a canted position. Flags should be standing straight up parallel to the marker. Normandy positioning of the flags is 31.5cm (just over 12 inches) in front of the marker.
There are two corrections to the article which appeared in The Story (formerly The Community Review). First, the article incorrectly states: "A greater coincidence is reflected in the visitors' book posted in front of a large sign. One woman wrote that she found her father's name on one of the crosses." In fact, a woman did make an entry in the comments book at the memorial, but she stated that she found her fatherís name in the list of 10,944 names available for review at the memorial. She did NOT find her fatherís name on a monument as the article states. The second correction is minor, but similar in nature. Where the article incorrectly states "A neighbor two doors down found an uncle's name on a monument." In reality, a neighbor said she thought a name on a monument was that of her friend's uncle, NOT her uncle. In any event, she never did confirm if the name on the monument was in fact her friend's uncle.