Belgian National Day theme is ‘proud to serve’


Next Friday will see parades features military personnel as well as civil protection services as Belgium celebrates National Day

Paying tribute

The theme of this year’s National Day on 21 July will be Proud to Serve, the federal government has announced. “The National Day is an opportunity to pay tribute to the men and women who give daily in civilian and military service for Belgium and its people,” a spokesperson said.

The day will begin at 10.00 in Brussels with the traditional Te Deum service in the St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral, attended by the king and queen. At the same time, the Defence department will host its annual Feest in de Warande, a street fair stretching from the Justice Palace to Warandepark featuring a variety of entertainments.

The Zavel will be home to live music all day, and the military will present information on jobs as well as show visitors how some of their apparatus works. The traditional military parade on Paleizenplein in front of the royal palace begins at 16.00, featuring 1,660 personnel, including 158 foreign troops – a detachment from Shape in Mons marking the 50th anniversary of the organisation. 

The parade also includes 43 vehicles, 35 aircraft and a squadron of helicopters. A civilian parade includes police, customs, civil protection and disaster relief team B-Fast as well as public health and Red Cross personnel. The official celebrations end at 23.00 with fireworks, also on Paleizenplein.

Police in the Brussels-Elsene zone have given assurances that tight security will be in place, including concrete blocks and parked vehicles to stop traffic. 

Photo: The National Day parade and village winds through Brussels next Friday
©Arie Asona/ZumaPress