Originally, there were about 18,000 American remains interred there, but a little over half of them have been returned to cemeteries in the United States. Of the 8,301 American graves remaining in Margarten, every one of them has been adopted by a Dutch family, who tend the grave, place flowers on holidays, and often keep a picture of their adopted hero in their homes.
Every year on Liberation Day, the 5th of May, which marks the date of the German withdrawal from the Netherlands, memorial services are held at Margarten for the fallen American heroes who helped liberate Holland. The day concludes with a concert in Maastricht, and the final piece is always "Il Silenzio," a memorial piece commissioned by the Dutch and first played in 1965 on the 20th anniversary of Holland's liberation. It has been the concluding piece of the memorial concert ever since.
In 2008 the soloist was a 13-year-old Dutch girl, Melissa Venema, backed by André Rieu and his orchestra (the Royal Orchestra of the Netherlands). This beautiful concert piece is based upon the original version of taps and was composed by Italian composer Nino Rossi.
Be prepared for a knot in your throat.