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Solemn tribute to the fallen Moroccan soldiers for freedom of Belgium in 1940

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The recognition of the sacrifices of Moroccan soldiers who came to defend a land that was not theirs was the watchword at both Aymes memorial in Gembloux and in the necropolis of Chastres (40 km south of Brussels) where lie hundreds of fallen Moroccan riflemen who fought for the liberation of Europe from Nazi and fascist colonial rule.

In both places, the enormous sacrifices made by the valiant Moroccan soldiers who fought alongside the allied forces were highlighted as well as the imperative duty of perpetuating historical memory shared between Morocco and Europe through which are revealed the heroic acts of these soldiers.

"It is our role today to show younger generations the importance of this sacrifice," said the former Belgian defense minister and honorary president of the Association of Moroccan veterans Souvenir de Belgique, Mr. André Flahaut, noting that "a duty of memory is required to deal with the emergence of extremism and nationalism everywhere in Europe and the world."

Moroccan soldiers who fought alongside their French and Belgian comrades are now "deeply in our thoughts and in our hearts," said for his part the mayor of Gembloux Benoît Dispa, and this tribute is to show our eternal gratitude for their sacrifice."

The mayor of Chastres Claude Jossart, praised the bravery and heroism of the Moroccan soldiers noting that his city tirelessly continues to maintain the memory of the sacrifices made for freedom of Belgium and Europe.

For his part, Ambassador of Morocco to Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Samir Addahre, stressed the supreme sacrifice made by Moroccan soldiers in Gembloux between 13 and 16 May 1940 and the importance of perpetuating the duty of memory to the heroic acts performed so that they do not fall into oblivion.

The High Commissioner to former resisters and former members of the Liberation Army, El Mostafa El Ktiri also emphasized the duty of remembrance in honor of the Moroccan soldiers and highlighted the values ​​of patriotism, sacrifice and the ideals of freedom, human dignity and coexistence that Morocco has always defended.

The president of the Association of Moroccan veterans Remembrance of Belgium, Ahmed El Karrouti, went on the same route and stressed the importance to remember that thousands of Moroccan soldiers fought during the Second World War alongside the allied recalling that the battle of Gembloux marks the first defeat of the army of Nazi Germany, since the invasion of Belgium, thanks to the bravery of 3 regiments and 2 divisions of Moroccan soldiers.

These ceremonies deployed the national colors of Morocco, Belgium and France, while playing their national anthems and depositing wreaths in memory of around 233 soldiers who died in battle.

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