France, Belgium Seek UNESCO Recognition for WWI Memorials

France, Belgium seek UNESCO recognition for WWI memorials
A U.S. Marine touches a headstone at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in Belleau, France. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo) -- The Associated Press

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.


This article was written by Raf Casert from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

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