Belgium's National Day to pay tribute to COVID-19 heroes

2021-07-21 16:06:03 GMT2021-07-22 00:06:03(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

BRUSSELS, July 21 (Xinhua) -- A ceremony to mark Belgium's National Day held at the Place des Palais here Wednesday will pay tribute to all the people who played a role in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

A civilian emergency services parade will be divided according to four themes: education and youth, vaccination, care and health, and logistics.

All "COVID heroes" will be honored in the parade itself, but also through video testimonials and during live music performances in various locations across the country.

The ceremony is also in honor of all students in Belgium "for the courage they have shown during this long period of fight against the pandemic," and various students have been invited to attend the event.

Since the pandemic began, 25,213 people have died, according to data from the Scientific Institute of Public Health (Sciensano).

To pay tribute to the victims who died in last week's deadly floods, this year's national day celebrations are more restricted and modest in scale, with fewer events being staged across the capital city. The usual fireworks display in Brussels' Royal Park have been cancelled this year.

King Philippe expressed his gratitude to everybody in Belgium for showing immense solidarity. "There is spontaneous aid to the disaster victims from all over the country, and countless volunteers have given their all without limits. I want to express our gratitude to them, as well as to our European partners who have come in support," he stressed.

"I have confidence in this ability that we have to bounce back. If we were able to hold out through the difficulties, it was thanks to a surge of humanity. This is a precious asset, to be preserved. It will allow us to face all challenges," he said. Enditem