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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Battle of Waterloo remembered

Today it is exactly 200 years ago that the Battle of Waterloo was fought - the defeat of the French army under command of Napoleon.

A coalition of English, Prussian and Russian soldiers (among which one of my ancestors - a foot soldier under the command of general Blücher) fought against the forces of Napoleon, who had been conquering big parts of Europe before. And they won.

Why was this battle fought in Waterloo? Well, because Belgium has been - and still is - of big stragetic importance. If you go back in history, you'll find out how many battles were fought on our soil - and this is also one of the reasons why we Flemings are able to speak more than one language.

All of this week there have been ceremonies in and around Waterloo (a little village near Brussels, by the way). When we were kids, the school always organized a school trip to Waterloo, to learn about the big battle and see the statue of the lion which has been put up later on. Prince Charles and Camilla were present, just like the Dutch king and his spouse (Belgium was part of the Dutch kingdom in 1815). Also a great-grandson of the Duke of Wellington and likewise of Blücher were there, just as a great-grandson of Jerome Bonaparte, Napoleon's youngest brother.

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