The centenary of the Armistice of the Great War will be marked on Sunday with the biggest military parade for 100 years on Avenida da Liberdade, Lisbon, an initiative aimed at “preserving the memory” and honoring peace.
The parade is organized by the Combatants League and the General Staff of the Armed Forces (EMGFA) and will require special security measures and traffic restrictions in the city starting at 10:00 pm today at the top of Parque Eduardo VII.
In a press conference, EMGFA spokesman Commander Coelho Dias admitted that the ceremony, with more than 4,500 military and police officers to parade on the Avenue, is the largest “for 100 years”, emphasizing that the purpose is “to honor peace “and” honoring the memory “of the hundred thousand Portuguese who fought in World War I (1914/1918) and the 7,500 who died in the conflict.
“Honoring the memory,” “pay homage and stimulate national pride” is also “an act of citizenship,” said the EMGFA spokesman, headed by Admiral António Silva Ribeiro.
The initiative, organized by the Combatants League and the General Staff of the Armed Forces (EMGFA), is chaired by the President of the Republic and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who will speak at 11:30.
Present at the press conference, Mayor Alejandro Coimbra of the PSP, said that on Saturday there will be traffic cuts in the downtown of the city from 14:00 and on Sunday from 08:00, calling for citizens who want to watch to the parade use public transport, especially the metropolitan, with the proviso that the Avenue station will be closed.
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.
The military ceremony includes 3,437 military personnel, 390 GNR military personnel, 390 PSP police officers, 160 former combatants, 80 foreign military personnel [Germany, United States of America, France and the United Kingdom], and 180 students from the Military College and of the Pupils of the Army.
The ceremony also has 111 vehicles and bikes of the security forces, 86 horses and 78 vehicles of the Armed Forces. To complete the ceremony, there will be a naval component, with a frigate and an ocean patrol ship stationed in the Tagus, and the formation of F-16 aircraft for airfare during the homage to the dead.
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.