International leaders invited to Belgian city of Liège for Centenary

Posted on on 31 October 2013
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It has been announced that more than fifty heads of state will be invited to a ceremony in the Belgian city of Liège on August 4th 2014, at the start of a series of events in Belgium marking the Centenary of the First World War. 

Exactly 100 years on from the opening battles on the Western Front, the leaders will be asked to join King Philippe and the Belgian federal government in remembrance at the Allied Memorial in the city's Cointe district. 

The announcement has been made by the organising committee for the Centenary in the Province of Liège. It describes the Cointe tower as highly symbolic because it was funded from public subscription in the allied countries. The initiative for its construction came from veterans of the fighting.

The fortress of Liège was the scene of the first big German assault in the west after the invasion of Belgium on August 4th 1914. 

A special logo developed for the province's Centenary events includes a silhouette of Lancer Antoine Fonck (pictured above), the first Belgian to be killed in action that day. The 21-year-old cavalryman died when his patrol came under fire in the village of Thimister.

The province of Liège also witnessed one of the key events at the end of the war: the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II at the German army's headquarters in Spa on November 9th 1918, two days before the Armistice.

Other events marking the Centenary in Liège include a son-et-lumière show which will be open to the public on August 2nd and 3rd 2014.

Source: Province de Liège website

Images courtesy of the Province de Liège website

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News