BRUSSELS -- France and Belgium are urging UNESCO to designate scores of their World War I memorials and cemeteries as World Heritage sites, as the centennial remembrance of the 1914-1918 war nears its end.
The Franco-Belgian border, where much of the fiercest fighting of World War I took place, is dotted with monuments to the dead who fought on battlefields ranging from Verdun in France to Passchendaele in Belgium.
The war between Germany and its allies against France, the British Commonwealth and the United States saw some 3 million people die along the front lines, which stretched from the Belgian coast to the Swiss border. More than 2 million men are buried in the region.
A UNESCO panel will assess the proposed designation, along with 29 others, at a meeting in Bahrain that starts Sunday.