The soldiers from the municipality of Loulé who fought in World War I (1914-18), in the campaigns of France and Africa, were honored, last Friday, in another ceremony commemorating the Battle of La Lys and the Day of the Combatant.
In front of the Town Hall, elements of the Municipality and of the Loulé Nucleus of the Liga dos Combatentes placed two wreaths of flowers next to the tombstones with the names of the 42 citizens who lost their lives in the fulfillment of their patriotic duty in these campaigns.
The Câmara de Loulé emphasizes that this tribute “marks the 103rd anniversary of one of the most tragic moments in Portuguese contemporary history, the day when an offensive operation by the German army imposed a heavy defeat on Portuguese troops, culminating in several hundred deaths and in thousands of prisoners of war, for whom, despite the constraints imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a minute of silence».
In this symbolic moment, the mayor Vítor Aleixo praised the symbolism of this anniversary and the «absolutely generous way in which the Portuguese gave their contribution to that European conflict».
"Dates of these that are part of national history must be perpetuated in time and each generation must revisit them, must reflect and must rethink the meaning for us and for those who will come to be here in our place," he said.
Vítor Aleixo, who was distinguished, in 2019, with the Medal of Honor Merit Gold by the League of Combatants, in recognition of the work carried out in favor of this association, spoke about the actions carried out with the Nucleus of Loulé.
«The creation of a plot in the Loulé Cemetery for the Portuguese military who fell in defense of Portugal in the Colonial War, the collaboration in the creation of the Nucleus and the transfer of a property for its headquarters, as well as the support to all its activities of social character, through an annual contract-program, are some of the initiatives carried out by the Municipality to support the combatants and their families», highlights the City Council of Loulé.
On the other hand, the autarchy continues, in several parishes of the county monuments have been erected in honor of the combatants, such as the sculpture by Daniel Vieira and Renata Pawelec, inaugurated in September, in Alte.
“This very close relationship between the Chamber and the League is fair and productive”, stressed Vítor Aleixo.
In the year in which the centenary of the founding of the League of Combatants is also celebrated, Manuel Costeira, president of the Nucleus of Loulé, spoke about the constraints of these celebrations and the interaction between combatants due to Covid-19.
However, he considered that this will not be an impediment to «in spiritual union, we live April 9 as always, honoring our dead, evoking our history and presenting our wishes in supporting health, in social support to combatants, to the our members and their families».