The Fatherland

Belgium, October 5, 1939

Even a man with the misfortune of having lost his parents, of not having a brother or sister, of not having a family by marriage is not yet isolated in this world; he has a family, a large family that confers rights and imposes duties on him. This family is the homeland. People surround us who speak our language, who breathe the same as us, who live on our soil, whose fathers lived with our fathers, who are subject to the same laws, who are defended by the same borders, who take shelter under the folds of the same flag. Its name is also ours. The land where these people live is our homeland: beloved land, which was our cradle that concealed in your bosom the graves of our parents, our friends, our relatives, and which will probably receive our remains one day; land where we saw the first spring blossom, where we confessed our first stuttering, played our first games, opened our eyes to the light and our intelligence as knowledge; land where we have known the sweetest feelings that embellish life, where we have also suffered; land that we have watered with our sweeteners, with our tears, too; land of our forefathers; land of our children. Oh Fatherland, how beautiful you are and how strongly our hearts cling to you.

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