Centennial of the First World War – The names of 12,000 World War I victims to be read on Belgian Memorial Day
Wednesday, 10 September 2014
The names of 12,000 victims – civilian and military – of the First World War will be read on Saturday, Sept. 20th on Belgian Memorial Day, which will take place from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM at the foot of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Brussels, stated the Belgian National Remembrance Committee during a press conference held on Tuesday. “This unique event is for the general public, especially young people,” said Jean-Pierre Schellekens, Chairman of the Committee. “We want to touch their hearts by naming the civilian and military victims killed between August 4th and December 31st, 1914″ The participants in this ceremony, which include ambassadors, military and private citizens, will be divided into 24 groups. They will read the names of civilians killed in the cities as well as the names of fallen Belgian, French, British, and German soldiers. Of the 1,500 British names that will be mentioned, 175 are those of Indian soldiers.”This will be the first time that the fallen Indian soldiers will be officially acknowledged,” said Jean-Pierre Schellekens.
“August 22nd was the deadliest day for the French army: 27,000 dead in one day,” stated Lieutenant Colonel Claude Michel, managing director of the French Memorial in Belgium. “The young lieutenant Charles de Gaulle was hurt by a bridge of the Meuse. The French army, which was still an army of the 19th century, had to deal with technically superior forces. Due to the strength of the Belgian army, the French troops had time to gain momentum, “he added.