| ||Covering some 40 hectares (100 acres) at Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Verdun, the American cemetery was dedicated in 1935 by the American Battle Monuments Commission. The commission was created in 1923 at the request of General Pershing, who had taken part in the American offensive of 1918. Its aim was to undertake architectural and landscape studies in order to restructure American cemeteries and commemorative monuments in Europe. Whereas the French army chose to build permanent cemeteries where temporary cemeteries had been made during the hostilities, the American army opted to create a single cemetery. Some 25,000 American tombs scattered around Verdun were then brought together at Romagne where, after almost half the bodies were repatriated to American soil, 14,246 soldiers have lain ever since. The butchery of the Great War so shocked the United States that it built numerous pacifist commemorative monuments at Verdun and in the Somme. For similar reasons, Verdun hosted an occasion of Franco-German reconciliation in 1984, and the town has been named the Capital of Peace, Freedom, and Human Rights.
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