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The city of Liege kicks off the ceremonies to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Bombing of Gernika in Belgium

2012 April 24

The first ceremony in Belgium has been held to commemorate the 7th anniversary of the Bombing of Gernika. It was organised with the support and involvement of the Basque Country Delegation to the EU, the "Los Niños de la Guerra" [War Children of the Spanish Civil War] association, along with the authorities of Liege and the "Les Territoires de la Mémoire" Association.

The Basque Country Delegate to the EU, Marta Marín, spoke to the large crowd at the ceremony held in Liege, which was attended by representatives of Liege Province, along with the city authorities, together with the "Niños de la Guerra" and their relatives, and fifty or so young people.

The emotional ceremony was held next to the oak tree and the commemorative plaque to the Bombing of Gernika, located in the city's central park. After the aurresku ceremonial dance, the speeches by the representatives of the Belgian authorities, the "Niños de la Guerra" and the Delegate, a minute's silence was held.

Both the Delegate and the authorities present stressed the importance of continue to work to remember the people killed in the Bombing of Gernika, and the importance of passing on peace and human rights values to future generations.

The "Niños de la Guerra" and their relatives likewise expressed their gratitude to Belgium and Liege for having welcome nearly a thousand children from Cantabria and the Basque Country nearly 75 years ago. The Belgian journalist, Mathieu Corman, was also remembered, He witnessed the bombing of Gernika and along with Steer, Colmes and Monks, they made sure that the world knew what was happening in Gernika.

At the end of the ceremony, the "Niño de la Guerra", Francisco Santín, handed the Delegate, Marta Marín, a copy of "Le Perron", a symbol of freedom and justice of the city of Liege.

Activities in Belgium to mark the 7th Anniversary of the Bombing of Gerniak

To mark the 7th Anniversary of the Bombing of Gernika and in 2012, the Year of the Cultures for Peace and Freedom, the Basque Country Delegation in Brussels has been the driving force behind different activities to disseminate what happened in Gernika 75 years ago. A travelling exhibition, which will be opened in the Basque Country Delegation to the EU on Thursday 26 April, is going to visit different Belgian cities, and will able to seen at the Brussels Cervantes Institute, Liege City Hall, the Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres and the Huy National Memorial. Both Ypres and Huy were razed to the ground during the World Wars.

The activities of the Delegation are part of those carried out by the Basque Government Delegations abroad, the Etxepare Institute and the Gernika Peace Museum.

Different Belgian associations and entities are also organising commemoration initiatives, such as the one held in the Belgian city of Liege by "Les Territoires de la Mémoire" Association.

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  • Marta Marin, Delegada de Euskadi para la UE