King Philippe leads Armistice Day commemorations in Brussels

Belgium’s King Philippe led the annual Armistice Day commemorations in Brussels on Wednesday, while thousands of people also attended a ceremony in the west Belgian town of Ypres to mark 97 years since the end of the first world war.

Belgium’s monarch laid a floral wreath at the Congress Column memorial in the capital, and a minute’s silence was held in tribute to the victims of both world wars as well as Belgian soldiers killed in peacekeeping operations since 1945.

Several hundred people attended, including representatives of the legislative, executive and judicial powers in Belgium, police, defense and NATO.

Meanwhile, large crowds gathered at the Menin Gate in Ypres, where the Last Post – the traditional final salute to the fallen – was sounded.

The last Belgian veteran from the first world war died in 2004.