Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Day the War Ended

On November 11, 1918 the Great War ended, the first formal war ever fought by the independent Kingdom of Belgium, a war on which depended the very survival of the country. In the United States this holiday is called Veterans Day to honor all the heroes who gave service in the military for their country. In recognition of the heroes of Belgium and the land of my exile I have this post:
King Albert I, Queen Elisabeth and General John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) that turned the tide against the Germans for the Allies.

General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing of the A.E.F. meeting S.M. King Albert I

The United States of America and the Kingdom of Belgium ready to fight side by side

Yesterday I talked about the great Belgian war hero Baron Jules Jacques. After the war he became the commander of the Belgian army and in 1921 he visited the United States and was honored to attend the convention of the American Legion in Kansas City as well as the famous Arlington National Cemetery where he movingly placed his own Croix de Guerre on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Baron Jacques had commanded the first troops to stand against the Germans and he was key in leading the counter-offensive at the end of the war to liberate his country. He was also very clear about Belgian-American friendship and support during the war. In 1919 he said to the United Press International:

"When America came to the war, just the mere knowledge of it had an enormous effect on Belgium. Belgium gave a great sigh of relief. Our spirits rose by bounds, while the Germans' began to drop. When American soldiers entered the Belgian line to join in the conflict, words cannot express our feelings. We knew the end was near and that the outcome of the war had practically been determined."

Happy Veterans Day to all the American Friends and salute to the military heroes of the United States and Belgium and all the Allied powers!


  1. Thanks for the salute to the AEF and nice pics of the King with 'Black Jack'. You know I have mixed feelings about WW1, view the whole thing as a tragedy that should not have happened, but I'm very proud of our "Doughboys" and all the troops who endured such trials in that conflict. I also appreciate the quote from General Jacques, that is very touching. I confess I had only ever heard of him in relation to the Casement report, glad to know the rest of the story. Belgium has *huge* amount to be proud of over the 1914-18 years.

  2. I try to remember I started this blog with an American audience in mind (though no Americans seem to be reading it!) and I really appreciate the U.S. assistance especially because they did not gain anything when it was over. I'm a little more positive on the war obviously, I agree it would be good if it had not happened, but I am certainly glad that the Allies won or Belgium might belong to Bavaria today!

  3. I also cannot help but notice that King Albert seems to tower over General Pershing -and I've seen photos of General Pershing with King George V of the U.K. and he was almost a full head taller than the British monarch. King Albert could have been in the Potsdam Giants Guard...

  4. BelgieRoyalist, I get alot of visitors from the U.S. on my blog, so stay hopeful;-)