The Yser tribute committee, which organises a ceremony to pay respect to the (Flemish) soldiers who died on the front during the First World War every year, still hopes to find out how the Yser tower was destroyed in 1946. On Sunday, 69 years later, the committee president, Paul De Belder, called on descendants of those involved to “play their cards”. He spoke during a conference on the new tower’s 50th anniversary.
“Only the truth can set you free, and those who blew up the tower, on orders from their superiors, are no doubt all dead and at peace. I can now ask their children/grandchildren to pass on any information they might have with a free conscience”, said De Belder.
The first Yser tower, constructed after World War One to pay respect to the Flemish soldiers killed in action, became a symbol of Flanders’ desire to govern itself. It was destroyed on the 15th of March 1946. A new, bigger one wasn’t constructed until 1965.