News item

Prime Minister De Croo commemorates Armistice at the Menin Gate in Ypres

On the 102nd anniversary of the armistice, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo paid tribute to the many victims of the First World War at the Menin Gate in Ypres.



On 11 November 1918, at 11 o'clock in the morning, the world was freed from the nightmare of the Great War. The weapons of the warring parties went silent after four years of horrendous fighting. Since then, Armistice Day has been the time to commemorate all the victims of war, civilians and soldiers, including the victims of subsequent wars.

Small ceremony

Traditionally, Armistice Day in Ypres is commemorated with a special rendition of the Last Post at the Menin Gate at 11.00 a.m. Under normal circumstances there are more than a thousand participants and performers under the Menin Gate and on the bridge over the fortified water, but because of the coronary pandemic and the strict measures, the commemoration took place in a small circle, without an audience and with only one clarifier.

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said: "Even in these difficult times, we have to continue to commemorate the Armistice in an appropriate manner, especially here in Ypres. During the First World War, our country was the battlefield for the whole world. Here, the paths of fifty different nationalities from five different continents crossed. Twenty million people lost their lives in one of the most senseless conflicts on European soil. There were 600,000 deaths in our country. Most of them were soldiers, young men. They died for our freedom. We must never forget, and we must continue to remember. We are here in Ypres today with fewer people, but our gratitude remains just as great".

Minute silence

The short Last Post ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, the Mayor of Ypres Emmily Talpe, Benoit Mottrie, Chairman of the Last Post Association, and the Director of the CWGC in Ypres, Geert Bekaert.  During the ceremony wreaths were laid down, the Prime Minister pronounced the Exhortation and the paper poppy leaves swirled down from the roof of the Menin Gate during the minute's silence.






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