July 21 ... Belgium's National Day but due to the Congo situation, no official parade?
July 21 ... Belgium's National Day but due to the Congo situation, no official parade marked the day. But Brussels saw one parade, called by the Committee for the Defence of Belgians in Africa, in protest over the Government's handling of the Congo situation.
Committee speakers at the parade rally in the City's main square called this National Day a Day of Mourning and demanded the Government's resignation.
In a proclamation edged in black, the Committee said the thoughts of the nation were turned to their raped women in the Congo and to the Belgian officers of the Force Publique humiliated by Congolese troops. It called for unity around King Baudouin allowing him to form a national government above the party politics that had "refused to take in time the necessary measures of security and protection" in the Congo.
King Baudouin broadcast to the nation the same night, saying that the Congo insurrection was the work of a minority; he made the point it was a "sacred duty" of Belgian forces to intervene to save threatened lives, and condemned those who accused Belgium of aggression in the Congo.