This year marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. During 2018, AWCB members and friends will reflect on more than a century of American service in Belgium.
From the first American “doughboys” who arrived to defend freedom in 1917, to the thousands of GIs who answered the call of World War II…. from diplomats preserving peace to teachers keeping alive history’s lessons… from artists nurturing cross-cultural understanding to entrepreneurs fostering economic cooperation… We salute the role that they have all played in cementing not just 100 years of Americo-Belgian friendship, but a more just and peaceful world.
AWCB members, friends and the public will have many opportunities this year to honor the legacy of those who came before us, and to support future generations in sharing the best of the American and Belgian spirits. One such opportunity is by supporting our HOPE partner, the American Overseas Memorial Day Association in Belgium (AOMDA).
The AOMDA endeavors to keep alive the memory of the more than 13,000 American service members laid to rest in Belgium. On April 20, the AWCB hosted AOMDA President Dr. Jerry Sheridan, who described the association’s mission and its work to preserve the legacy of those who served. Not only does AOMDA coordinate the Memorial Day ceremonies in each of Belgium’s three American military cemeteries, as well as for personnel buried in isolated graves, but just as vitally, the organization educates youth about the values of freedom and democracy for which these soldiers gave their lives.
This May, we at the AWCB will continue our long-standing tradition of sending Memorial Day wreaths to each of Belgium’s three American military cemeteries: Flanders Field, Henri-Chapelle, and the Ardennes. A representative from the AWCB Board of Directors will also attend each ceremony on behalf of the club. These moving events are an unforgettable experience for all involved. We encourage all AWCB members and friends of any nationality to join us in attending a ceremony, as well as to be part of our tribute by making a donation to the AWCB Wreath Fund.
On June 16, we will recognize 100 years of American service in Belgium at the AWCB Founders’ Ball. Celebrating the successes of the past and the promise of the future, this special event will feature NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller as our keynote speaker. All proceeds will go to the AWCB HOPE program, which partners with local charities to spread the best of the American spirit in Belgium. Volunteer opportunities are open to those wanting to place their special signature on this event!
Living in Belgium has many advantages- including being a part of a long history of American-Belgian friendship and cooperation. While we continue to enjoy the culture, the architecture, the cuisine, and more- let’s all take the opportunity to reflect on our role in honoring and preserving this important legacy.