On Friday, Mayor Evelien De Both (N-VA) attended the commemoration of the Armistice in Zottegem. After this you can read her speech.
Dear ladies and gentlemen,
104 years, that’s how long it has been since the capitulation of Germany was signed in a train carriage in Compiègne. Then the guns fell silent. It seems, and is in the literal sense of the word, an eternity ago. Over the past 104 years we have put people on the moon, the whole world has come to everyone’s living room via TV, and even into everyone’s pocket thanks to the mobile phone. Life will look completely different on November 11, 2022 than on November 11, 1918.
Still. Yet war in 2022 is frighteningly close again. Horrible images from Ukraine reach us every day. Bombing, mobilized soldiers and innocent civilian casualties, it seems closer than ever. And ‘No more war’, the slogan that has been clung to around the world for decades, never seemed so far away.
That is why, even after more than a century, it remains important that we commemorate the events of that time, both internationally and locally. Because Zottegem also suffered heavy losses during the war. Here too the bombs fell and young men were sent to the front. And here too there were innocent civilian casualties. The annual Armistice Day commemorations are more than just a tradition. More than ever, we must commemorate the heroes of the past and support the heroes of today. Today we commemorate the armistice of 1918. Let’s hope together that next year we can also commemorate the end of the Ukraine war, and peace seems one step closer.