Page 8, 25th July 1941

25th July 1941
Page 8
Page 8, 25th July 1941 — BELGIAN NATIONALISM LIVES

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Locations: London, Brussels


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As Bishop Myers arrived at the high altar to give his address the colours swung to face him.

His address was short. He spoke of the pride that Free Belgians in this country feel in their Natioital Independence Day —a pride stimulated by the consciousness of duty well done. " We have much to thank God for in spite of what has happened—a small nation crushed by force of arms; but though the army is crushed its spirit stiff survives. The Belgian seamen and airmen are sharing all the perils of air and sea with our own,"

Or the King of the Belgians, Bishop Myers said : " He stands in the place his illustrious father stood. Inspiration has been given to the Belgian people by the unbroken spirit of this noble King, whose spirit is unconquered.

" We are celebrating this day with our lips and hearts, and our thoughts go out to (bone who are labouring under the Nazi tyianny who can celebrate only in their hearts. But we look to the day when the Belgian people will gather round their King, thanking God with him for the lreedom they have regained."

BRITISH AND BELGIAN ANTHEMS The Bishop then intoned the Te Deurn, after which the band of the Coldstream Guards played the British and the Belgian Nettional Anthems.

The procession took nearly a quarter of an hour to tile out of the Cathedral. Men who had made their homes here and bore the marks of the 1914 war on their faces and long rows of medals and ribbons on their coats, watched the young Belgians of the new army file past them—fine, upstanding lads as they once were, of fine physiciue and disciplined hearing. Young Belgian girls cheered them as they marched away" Vive Is Belgique!" and " Vive la France!"—though Free France was only here unofficially.

I spoke to one ancien combattant, M. Magin, as he stood on the Cathedral steps. He wore five medals—the 1914-1918; the Croix de Guerre with bar ; the Metiaille des Volontaires; the Croix de Feu and the Croix de Victoire. He told me he had been cap

lured in Belgium in the first days of the last war when he was only 18. He escaped, joined the army and fought all through the war, emerging with badly impaired hearing. He came to live in England after the war, and his son is now serving with the British Army in the Royal Engineers. He proudly showed me the boy's photograph which. like so many fathers to-day, he car ries in his breast pocket. • It was a great day of reunions, and parties stood about the steps talking and reminiscing. All the Belgian offices were closed. Belgian nationalism was very much alive and pronounced in London that day.

Over a thousand attended a reception, given by the Belgian Ministry of National "Defence, in the evening, when M. Picrlot spoke. Let us make a rendezvous for July 21, 1942," he said. " But where?" " In Brussels " came a unanimous shout, followed by a wild burst of cheering.

M. Picrlot, speaking of the King of the Belgians, said ; " King Leopold, with the disdainful silence which he preserves towards the enemy, is still the centre of re sistance for all Belgians. Union makes strength ' is the Belgian motto, and Belgians, both abroad and those from the King to the humblest citizen, imprisoned in their own country, must unite," Before the Cathedral ceremony there was a parade of the Belgian Airily, Air Force and auxiliary services at Wellington Barracks, reviewed by M..Pierlot. Representatives of Allied Governments in this country were present. General Sir John Dill, Chief of the General Staff, Vice-Admiral Sir Gerald Dickens and General Sir Ronald Adam attended on behalf of the British Services.

Indians Ask for Canonisation of Indian Girl: Thirty-two Indian tribes in the United States and Canada have entered petitions for the beatification of Kateri Tekawitba, the " Lily of the Ivlobawks," Some of the writing is in sign language and Indian characters. A few of the petitions are tamemenled with Indian pigments and, in some instances, they arc attested by tingerprints.

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