Troy library program to examine U.S. military cemeteries overseas

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published September 3, 2019

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TROY — Many U.S. troops who lost their lives in World War I or World War II are buried on foreign soil, near where they fell in battle.

Historian and retired U.S. Army veteran Steve Mrozek will present “In Honored Glory” at the Troy Public Library 6:30-8 p.m. Sept. 10.

Mrozek explained that the U.S. established the American Battle Monuments Commission after WWI in 1923 to maintain 24 U.S. military cemeteries overseas.

“A lot of Americans have no idea this exists,” he said. He noted that while 60% of the families of U.S. troops wanted the remains of their loved ones brought back to U.S. soil, the remaining troops were interred “where they fell,” following a European tradition.

Mrozek served in the Army for 26 years, serving in Afghanistan and as a national historian for the 82nd Airborne Division, attaining the rank of sergeant first class.

He said he visited many of the WWI and WWII battlefields in Europe, often with veterans, during the ’80s and ’90s. He took part in the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial service June 6 in honor of D-Day and gave Smithsonian-sponsored tours.

Maggie Forrest, the library’s adult services librarian, said that Mrozek has presented programs at the Troy library before, including one this past spring on D-Day in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Normandy invasion. “He was very well-received,” Forrest said.

Mrozek said baby boomers are visiting the graves of loved ones interred overseas “to see where their uncle or father is buried, or where they fought.”

He said he will share a PowerPoint presentation noting where the cemeteries are located overseas and share information about how the U.S. is still working to find casualties and identify the remains of casualties of the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Register for the Troy Public Library program at troypl.org or by calling (248) 524-3534.

The library is located at 510 W. Big Beaver Road.

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