Celebrations in Maldegem
74 years ago - at the beginning of September 1944 - the 1st Armoured Division of General Stanisław Maczek crossed the Franco-Belgian border in victorious pursuit of the fiercely defending German troops. On the Anniversary of this historic event, Minister Anna Maria Anders, accompanied by the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Brussels, J.E. Artur Orzechowski, took part in ceremonies at the war cemetery in Maldegem, where Polish soldiers from the 1st Armoured Division are buried. The ceremony was attended by a representative of the King of Belgium, Ambassadors of the Allied countries from the World War II years, the Mayor of Maldegem, Veterans, representatives of the Army, numerous representatives of local authority and young people. In her speech Anna Maria Anders drew attention not only to the heroism of the fallen Poles but also to the fate of Poland’s soldiers and compatriots, who after the war could not return to their homeland and were forced to live in exile. The ceremony ended with the laying of wreaths and flowers and the National Anthems of Belgium, Poland, Canada and Great Britain.
After the official celebrations Minister Anna Maria Anders met with Veterans and guests at the Maldegem Town Hall.
Later, at in the Canadian-Polish World War II Museum (created and run by Gilbert Van Landschoot) Minister Anders met with the participants of the First Global Meeting of General Maczek fans "Maczek Jamboree". During the meeting, plans for the coming years were discussed and an Honorary Committee was established, which – in addition to Minister Anders - also would include Polish Ambassadors accredited in Belgium, France and the Netherlands.