Everyday heroes to be celebrated in this year's Belgium National Day festivities

Everyday heroes to be celebrated in this year's Belgium National Day festivities
Celebrations for Belgium's National Day on 21 July in Brussels. Credit: Belga / Joost de Bock

A citizen's initiative called Be Heroes wants to put the spotlight on everyday heroes and celebrate them on Belgium's National Day on 21 July. The initiative is supported by King Philippe and Minister of the Interior Annelies Verlinden.

Belgium celebrates the day with a parade, which normally pays tribute to Belgium's security and emergency services, such as the army, the police and firefighters.

But there are thousands of Belgians who make a difference in other ways, including neighbours who help the weak or sick in their neighbourhoods, grandparents who help however they can, and volunteers who support with all kinds of tasks.

Be Heroes wants to expand who will be celebrated on Belgium's National Day and is calling for people to nominate their heroes here until 1 July.

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Moreover, eight people will nominate their heroes and be received alongside their chosen heroes by King Philippe in the Royal Palace in September for an audience.

Belgium's National Day

Belgium's National Day celebrates Belgium's separation from the Netherlands in 1831, as well as the formal establishment of a kingdom in which Leopold I took the constitutional oath as the first King of Belgium, on 21 July 1831.

As a public holiday, people are usually given the day off work. Meanwhile, Parliament chambers, the central bank and other institutions are open to the public, while parks and a range of venues across town stage concerts and other activities. A large military parade takes place in Brussels, which attracts over 100,000 visitors.

Several ceremonies are held to commemorate the day, including with the Belgian Royal Family, as well as the other political institutions of the country.

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