The Great War Centenary
With the Great War Centenary (2014-18) project Flanders wants to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War in a fitting and serene manner.
The First World War was the first international conflict on a global scale. Millions of soldiers and civilians from nearly 50 countries lost their lives. All over the world ‘Flanders Fields’ has come to be associated with a history of unprecedented human suffering and material destruction.
One hundred years later, the Government of Flanders wishes to remember the victims of this war. This commemoration is also an opportunity to preserve our war heritage in a sustainable and fitting manner, for generations to come and to reflect on war and peace.
The Government of Flanders has allocated major investments to the renovation, restoration and maintenance of WWI sites and museums in Flanders via the Great War Centenary Impulse Programme and has earmarked important sums for remembrance events between 2014 and 2018. To coordinate all the different initiatives the Government of Flanders has established ‘The Great War Centenary (2014-18)’ Office. International projects such as the protection of the battlefields in Flanders as UNESCO World Heritage sites will also be looked after by the project office.
Ever since 2002, the General Representative of the Government of Flanders in the UK has organised the ‘Flanders Remembers’ concert. Flanders House regularly invites speakers to talk about all aspects of the commemoration. However, the most important realisation is the establishment of the Flanders Fields Memorial Garden at the Wellington Barracks in London in November 2014.