Brunssum, The Netherlands – On 11th November, on Hendrik Camp, a military ceremony took place to commemorate the 105th “Armistice Day”. The ceremony was led by Brigadier General (OF-6) Bruno HELLUY, French Senior National Representative, and was attended by the French military community.
Lieutenant General (OF-8) Jean-Pierre PERRIN, Chief of Staff, attended the ceremony together with Major General (OF-7) Mark PULLAN, Deputy Chief of Staff Plans, Commodore (OF-6) Gordon RUDDOCK, Deputy Chief of Staff Management, Colonel (OF-5) Jörg BESTEHORN, Assistant Chief of Staff from the Operations Directorate as well as ten Senior National Representatives from Headquarters Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum representing Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, The Netherlands, Portugal, Romania and the United Kingdom. On 11th November 1918, at 11:00 am, the Armistice was signed between the Allies and Germany at Compiègne, France, ending hostilities on the Western Front of World War I. Since then, “Armistice Day” is observed every year in France, and it is still today one of the country’s most important military commemorations. In 2012, 11th November became the official day of remembrance – not only for those fallen during the First World War but also for all people who died in service of France. November 11 became a form of catalyst for the memories of those killed in combat, fully allowing external operations to be integrated into collective memory. The blue cornflower (Bleuet de France) is worn as a symbol of solidarity of the Nation. It is a symbol of life among chaos. Despite the horror of the front, cornflowers were still growing on the battlefield during the war and were present in great numbers in Eastern France.
During his speech, Brigadier General HELLUY recalled the sacrifice of European Nations and their Allies during the Great War and emphasized that for a century Europe has been able to rebuild a multinational system around Franco-German reconciliation that offers Nations peace and stability. “NATO shares the values held by international organizations such as the European Union and the United Nations and its defensive vocation is always a guarantee of stability and unity”, said Brigadier General HELLUY.