Armistice Day 2018 and 2019
Belgium commemorates the end of World War I every year on 11 November. The armed conflict, which began in 1914, finally ended when the Allies and Germany signed an armistice agreement on 11 November 1918 at Compiègne in northern France. Armistice Day is a public holiday in Belgium.
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As is the case with many other nations that participated in the Great War, the people of Belgium pause to remember the dead and wounded at precisely 11 AM on November 11. On Armistice Day, there are a host of sombre ceremonies, religious services and battlefield commemorations that can be attended in Brussels and other Belgian cities.
Very few World War I veterans are still alive, but military parades, proud veterans and family members still commemorate the costly battles that plagued the nation so many years ago.
Visiting war memorials and remembering those who sacrificed so much during World War I is important to the people of Belgium, but Armistice Day also provides an opportunity for family functions and some rest and relaxation. World War I was a horrific experience for the nation of Belgium, but being thankful for the peace and prosperity that the people of Belgium now enjoy is no less important.
Germany declared war against France and Belgium in the early days of August 1914. The invasion of Belgium by German troops led to a heroic defence by Belgian troops under the leadership of King Albert. Nevertheless, the modest Belgian military was unable to ward off the German onslaught. Belgian forces were forced to retreat, and the city of Antwerp came under German control.
Many desperate battles were fought by Belgian and British troops to stall the conquest of Belgium by Germany. However, it was only after the armistice of November 1918 that the country was liberated from the oppression of German forces.