I got to the St. Mihiel American Cemetery just before closing. A rain storm had just broken and the memorial's white marble crosses and Davidic stars glowed with evening light.
Central powers who had threatened to capture Paris since 1914, where swiftly driven back by the American Army here.
I wandered through the graves and perfectly manicured lawns and linden trees, pausing at 5:00 p.m. to listen to the chapel's carillon play Taps.
The bell's melody sweetly interrupted the silence of the cemetery, like a lullaby tucking the 4,153 soldier buried here in for the night.
The monument is about 190 miles east of Paris. Metz, the closest major town with rail access, is 23 miles to the northeast.