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Zonnebeke and Houthulst commemorate ‘100 years liberation’

The municipalities of Zonnebeke and Houthulst and the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 organise, in cooperation with the Belgian Armed Forces, the Flemish and Federal Authorities, on Friday  September 28th the double ceremony '100 years liberation'. That day, 100 years ago, the Belgian army captured the ruins of the village of Passendale and the forest of Houthulst. The ceremony in Houthulst takes place at 10.30 am at the Belgian Military Cemetery. In Passendale, the ceremony takes place at 5 pm at the market square.

Focus on Belgian soldiers and civilians

Both ceremonies have a similar programme but from a different angle. The ceremony in Houthulst focuses on the military story, the ceremony in Passendale on that of the civilians. The commemoration contains both military elements and personal stories and testimonies. Several reenactors provide the evocation, supported by the Royal Band of the Belgian Navy. Local youth also fulfill important roles in the two ceremonies, so that there is close cooperation with the local schools.

Commemoration of liberation and start of the final offensive

During the double ceremony, not only the conquest of the forest of Houthulst by the 7th Infantry Division and the capture of Passendale by the Karabiniers and Grenadiers are commemorated. The attack on September 28th 1918 marked the beginning of the Final Offensive in Flanders. That day the Belgian army breaks through various German positions and takes between 3 and 8 kilometers of terrain. After this, the Final Offensive continues until finally the ceasefire on November 11th puts an end to a four-year war. As a consequence, at Passendale attention is also devoted to the liberation and the message of peace.

Those wishing to attend one of the ceremonies or both, must register before September 24th via www.passchendaele.be or www.houthulst.be. Those who can not register online can contact the municipality of Houthulst (+32 51/46 08 94) or the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 (+32 51 77 04 41) by telephone.

On the same day, the Belgian Memorial Garden in the Passchendaele Memorial Park is ceremoniously opened at 2.30 p.m. All info: www.passchendaele.be

Download here the photos.

For more information:

Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917
Berten Pilstraat 5A
8980 Zonnebeke
www.passchendaele.be
debbie.manhaeve@passchendaele.be
T: +32 51 77 04 41