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World leaders to mark WWI outbreak in Belgium

King Philippe-Filip of Belgium (R) salutes as he attends a commemorative ceremony for the 100th anniversary of WWI on August 3, 2014 at the Fort de Loncin in Ans, outside LiegeGovernment leaders and royalty will gather in the Belgian city of Liege on Monday to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I, a small Balkans conflict that went global with the German invasion of neutral Belgium in August 1914. Liege, a gritty industrial hub in the east of the country built on coal mining and steel, was the Germans’ first obstacle. Its short but ferocious resistance remains a source of Belgian pride to this day, causing just enough of a delay to derail Germany’s quick-victory war plans. Reduced to rubble, Liege paid heavily for its sacrifice, but its bravery was such that France awarded the city the prestigious Legion d’Honneur.

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