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US budget battle shuts war graves

Tourists travelling to Omaha Beach to pay their respects to the 9,387 military dead at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial will find it closed, a victim of the US government's partial shutdown.

The site overlooking the D-Day invasion beaches is one of 24 US military cemeteries overseas that have closed to visitors since Monday. Ten more cemeteries in in France, as well as others in various European countries as well as Mexico, Panama, Tunisia and the Philippines, will remain closed for the duration of the shutdown.

The cemeteries are maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission, set up after the First World War. Nearly 125,000 US servicemen and women are buried at its cemeteries, and an additional 94,000 are commemorated on tablets of the missing.

-AP

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