At the Tir National
Since the first days after the liberation, anonymous hands had left flowers by the crosses at the Tir National. The place where members of the resistance movements had been shot became a place of memory. Their bodies would be exhumed a few months later, claimed by their families and municipalities.
Executed for being a spy and a member of the resistance, Gabrielle Petit was exhumed from Schaerbeek in 1919. A huge crowd assisted to the funeral of this “daughter of the people”, as the press called her. Queen Elisabeth, Prime Minister Léon Delacroix and Cardinal Mercier were present. With these state funerals, civilians who had fallen for their country joined the pantheon of the heroes of the Great War. As opposed to Germany or France, Belgium would pay tribute to soldiers and civilians alike. The civilian experience of the occupation, as endured by the major part of the population, would not be forgotten.