The Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, Belgium is one of four Commonwealth memorials honoring missing soldiers of World War I. The remains of over 90,000 soldiers who fought in the Ypres Salient area have never been found or identified. The memorial holds the names of more than 54,000 Commonwealth soldiers who lost their lives in the Ypres Salient battlefields in Flanders and and who have no known grave. Throughout the war, nearly every British and Commonwealth regiment passed through the area where the memorial now sits, many of them never to return.
Every night at 8pm a ceremony is held under the gate. Most days, people start gathering around 7pm, traffic is stopped at 7:30pm for one hour, and buglers from the local volunteer fire department arrive a few minutes before 8pm. The buglers sound the “Last Post” bugle call which is followed by one minute of silence. On days when there is no extended ceremony, the buglers then play “Réveille” to end the ceremony. The tradition started on July 1, 1928, lasted for four months, and was reinstated in the spring of 1929 as a permanent ritual. The only exception was during the four years of German occupation during World War II. The daily tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives defending Ypres has become a part of life for those who live there.
The Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing is located on the east side of Ypres.