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The NATO Memorial Federation would like to thank those who have published News and Blog reports of our NATO Memorial Ceremonies 

La Fédération du Mémorial de l'OTAN tient à remercier ceux qui ont publié des articles et des rapports sur leurs blogs à propos de nos Cérémonies

The NATO Memorial Federation would like to thank those who have published News and Blog reports of our 2017 NATO Memorial Ceremony

La Fédération du Mémorial de l'OTAN tient à remercier ceux qui ont publié des articles et des rapports sur leurs blogs à propos de notre Cérémonie 2017


Wednesday 13 September 2017                                      



So their Memory is never erased

Fréthun The Ceremony took place at the NATO Memorial for victims of external operations.

It is important to remember the individuals who have sacrificed their lives to ensure peace and to guarantee peace.

For the fifth year, representatives of Embassies, High dignitaries of the Armed forces, Veterans and Soldiers of different countries and corporations made the trip to honour the memory of all those men who defended the values ​​and colours of their country under the same flag.

For the first time, official NATO representatives participated in the Memorial day, a symbol of recognition and legitimacy.

Catherine Fournier, Mayor of Frethun, Jean-François Rapin, Senator, Pierre-Henri Dumont, Deputy, and other elected representatives were welcomed by the orchestral harmony of the municipal band of Sangatte / Coquelles and by that of Oye-Plage according to the protocols established by Henri Serednicki, Maurice Triplet, Masters of Ceremony, Jean-Daniel Jardine, Chancellor, and Jean-Pierre Pakula of ANOPEX. They were welcomed by Willy Breton, President and Founder of the NATO Memorial Federation (FMO), they were also joined by Military representatives.



Luc Janzen's parents came from the Netherlands to honour the memory of their son and all his comrades who died in battle, as well as the family of Stéphane Prudhom from Coulogne. (Coulogne is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in the Hauts-de-France.)

An inter-religious Ceremony was conducted for common prayers.

The Mayor of Frethun and the Deputy reiterated their desire to preserve world tranquillity and military balance in order to maintain peace.

Respect, tolerance, solidarity, brotherhood, comradeship, and freedom, have accompanied the words with those of Willy Breton, as the cornerstone of this project.

The laying of wreaths, followed by a minutes silence, the raising of the Standards, music and songs were followed by numerous tributes at the plinth of the Memorial for the soldiers and the security forces of the 28 member countries and the 41 partner countries, so that their memories will never be forgotten.

The next NATO Memorial Ceremony Day will take place on 8 September, 2018.



Pascaline Lemaire

NATO Memorial Federation Press Officer



 Fighting a Forgotten War 

NATO Association of Canada/ Association Canadienne de L'OTAN


Jayson Derow, BHJ, BA (Hons), MA


The unquestionable sacrifice made by thousands of NATO member and NATO partnership countries Armed forces who have given their lives for their respective countries must never be forgotten. It is a grave debt that cannot be repaid, but which ought to always be honoured. Notably, their commitment to the Afghan people was paramount. Yet, support for the war in Afghanistan is weakening, not just among Canadians and Americans, but also among those in many countries that are part of the collective NATO force in Afghanistan. Critics often condemn the lack of clarity regarding NATO’s aims to achieve in Afghanistan. They point to grim reports from the news media, politicians, and military leaders about the ongoing situation in the region, including the increasing number of NATO causalities.


Under the framework of NATO, the enduring commitment of member countries’ soldiers, sailors, and aircrews have collectively achieved a number of positive results: a strengthened security environment, national security forces with greater capabilities to defend their people and their nation, more opportunities for Afghan children, especially girls to attend school, development programs enabling the Afghan people to reclaim the agricultural foundation of their economy, health initiatives to battle polio, and advancement in democracy, and human rights.


However, with many NATO countries having fought in their longest wars to date, several have begun to unilaterally end their missions in Afghanistan – with Canada officially ending its mission on 12 March 2014. The truth is, however, the war never really ended and its goals were never fully accomplished. Such official cessation by NATO member countries was more rhetorical and symbolic than actual. Unilaterally ceasing war efforts is meant to fulfill promises made by the leaders of coalition countries, while appeasing a public that continues to exhibit complete disdain or disinterest toward the war. At the moment, approximately 13,000 coalition and NATO member countries’ troops remain in Afghanistan, involved mainly in training. Thus, ignoring the war does not make it go away, nor does a lack of coverage entail a military and political victory in the region. Indeed, battles still wage over issues that are pertinent today – ideology, injustice, nationalism, and extremism – and blood is still spilt by NATO member and partnership countries’ troops in a region their own people pay little to no attention to.


The fierce battles of Afghanistan were won by the courage and strength of the individual member countries’ troops and the collective actions of NATO; the very same courage and strength that is personified in today’s troops battling the war against extremism in Syria and Iraq. Thus, as NATO becomes a footnote in the tumultuous history of the war in Afghanistan and the battlegrounds continue to change – it is of the utmost importance that we remember such long and costly wars, as difficult and painful as that may be.


As western civilization continues to be distracted with the incendiary and ludicrous discourse of current international relations transpiring across both sides of the Atlantic, we as citizens of NATO member and partnership countries, who are still battling the threat of transnational terrorism and enduring wars, cannot continue to live in the dark any longer. We must not bury our heads in ignorance of global affairs. Our indifference to such has, and will continue, to fuel consistent ignorance surrounding the wider world. This is why we have a duty to Remember those who have given their ultimate sacrifice.


Remembrance is not just about the sacrifices made by the brave men and women who have died fighting these enduring wars, it is to also remember the reasons why men and women continue to fight these same wars, among others. This is what the NATO Memorial Federation seeks to achieve – the Remembrance of all those troops who have sacrificed their lives whilst serving under the banner of NATO. Their mission is resolute, I quote from their website – ‘The NATO Memorial is dedicated to the duty of Remembrance, we also aim to encourage and involve our younger generations to promote the Act of Remembrance both at European and International level. The NATO Memorial is also a place for Peace and Reconciliation.’


Although advancements in human rights and access to education have certainly been made in Afghanistan, there are also unintended consequences of enduring conflict, such as the mass exodus of refugees streaming into Europe from war-torn zones of the MENA region. As citizens from countries sheltered from direct conflict, we want to avoid such unintended consequences of destructive foreign policy blunders and the devastating nature of war in the future, consequently, “We have no choice but to open our eyes and accept reality or nothing will ever change.”


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