A large military parade with the passing of F-16 fighters marks today the 100th anniversary of the Armistice of World War I, on Lisbon’s Avenida da Liberdade, in Lisbon, bringing together the high figures of the state.
In addition to the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the Prime Minister, António Costa, the President of the Assembly of the Republic, Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues, the Minister of National Defense, João Gomes Cravinho, will attend the ex-presidents of the Republic António Ramalho Eanes and Jorge Sampaio, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces (EMGFA).
The ceremony evoking the one hundred years of the end of World War I (1914-1918) begins at 11:00 with the arrival of the President of the Republic and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, who will review the forces in parade and will speak at 11:30 after a tribute to the dead, with the deposition of a wreath.
The military parade then begins down the Avenida da Liberdade, from the Marquês de Pombal to the Restauradores, bringing together some 4,500 members, of which 3,437 military personnel from the Armed Forces, 390 soldiers from the GNR, 390 police from the PSP and 160 former combatants.
There will also be represented by the armed forces of Germany, USA, France and the United Kingdom, with 80 military personnel, and the Military College and Army Pupils with 180 students.
The parade is organized by the Combatants’ League and the EMGFA and has forced special security measures and traffic restrictions in the city, with the PSP appealing to citizens who want to watch public transport, especially the metro.
The ceremony also has 111 vehicles and bikes of the security forces, 86 horses and 78 vehicles of the Armed Forces. To complete the device, there will be a naval component, with a frigate and an oceanic patrol ship stationed in the Tagus, and the formation of F-16 aircraft, for airfare during the homage to the dead.
With the purpose of “honoring the peace” and “honoring the memory” of the 100,000 Portuguese who fought in World War I and the 7,500 who died in the conflict, the ceremony also aims to “stimulate national pride” and be “an act of citizenship” , according to an EMGFA spokesman, headed by Admiral António Silva Ribeiro.
As for the special security measures, Avenida da Liberdade will be delimited in zones for the public, with rails and anti-vehicle rails.
The operation does not provide for access control but will involve “several thousand police” of several units in the face of the “significant risk” that PSP associates with initiatives of this size and with the presence of high entities.
Portugal participated in the Great War with about 100,000 men alongside the Allies, sending the Portuguese Expeditionary Corps to the Western Front in 1917.
The Portuguese soldiers were also present in front of Angola, in 1914-1915, in Mozambique, between 1914 and 1918, and in France, in 1917 and 1918.