Why is it important to comemmorate the First World War in Belgium?

Posted on centenarynews.com on 16 July 2012
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Bernard Maris explores why it is historically significant to commemorate the First World War in Wallonia. Moreover, he shows that it is politically expedient for the Wallonians to commemorate the centenary. He describes that Wallonia lags behind Flanders, whose budget is ten times more than that of Wallonia.

The article portrays accusations made by Wallonians that Flanders is utilizing the event in order to show its economic and political dominance in Belgium. The article highlights that Wallonians must accord more importance to the centenary in order to fight back against Flanders' alleged struggle for hegemony. 

 

Translated by Anna Bearfield, Centenary News Team

For Bernard Maris’ full article, click here.

 

EXCERPT OF TRANSLATED ARTICLE

“Why should we remember 1914?…Firstly, in order to understand our society. … Never had global trade and cultural exchange been so extensive… For Wallonian socialist deputy Christophe Collignon, it goes beyond historical remembrance: ‘it has a political dimension because Flanders is utilizing this commemoration to exhibit its own national memory… It forms part of the campaign for an independent Flanders and it is equally essential for Wallonia to show the impact of the war on its territory.’ The Wallonian government is going to decide on the cities it has selected for commemoration in April: the budget is only 1.8 million in comparison to the 20 million euros being spent in Flanders.”

 

Images courtesy of the Liberation website

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