"Ceux qui meurent sont tombés, mais ne sont pas oubliés"
"Nos morts, on ne les pleure pas,
on les honore".
Harold Vormezeele was born on July 24, 1979, in Belgium. His father, Group Captain Eric Vormezeele, was one time head of école de l'aviation légère (light flying school), Brasschaat.
On February 24, 1999, aged 19, Harold signed a five-year undertaking with the foreign Legion, to serve as a volunteer serviceman, and thus underwent training as a light infantry bomber in the 4th REI of Castelnaudary.
Five months after completing his course, he joined the 2nd foreign parachute unit and went for overseas campaign to Bosnia, Gabon and then Djibouti. The following year, he served as a radiotelegraph operator, and worked with much resolve and efficiency. On February 1, 2002, he was made first class legionnaire.
Promoted corporal, he joined the parachute commando section of the unit and served in New Caledonia. Promoted to sergeant on July 1, 2005, he served in Côte d'Ivoire, the Central African Republic and Afghanistan. He concurrently took technical training course and earned a BSTAT (brevet supérieur de technicien de l'armée de Terre). On May 7, 2010, upon obtaining French nationality, Staff Sergeant Harold Vormezeele returned to Afghanistan, and served twice.
In January 2013, he participated in Operation "Cheetah” in Côte d'Ivoire. With the involvement of France in the Malian conflict, he was thus dropped with his company on Timbuktu in the night of January 27 breaking 28, within the framework of Operation "Serval".
On February 19, 2013, in the late hours of the morning, during a reconnaissance mission in the Adrar des Ifoghas massif, some fifty kilometres away from Tessalit, Staff Sergeant Vormezeele’s group was assaulted by an Islamic terrorist group. During this rather intensive clash the ensued, which lasted four hours, Staff Sergeant Harold Vormezeele sustained a fatal injury.
Staff Sergeant VORMEZEELE, at 33, was finally killed at front fighting for France. He had received four commendations, including three with military valour cross, and one with a gold medal for national defence. Staff Sergeant VORMEZEELE equally held French commemorative medal with insignia "ex-Yougoslavie" and "Afghanistan", the overseas operations medal with insignia "République de Côte d' Ivoire" and "République Centrafricaine", the servicemen cross, and the national defence medal, gold echelon.
Promoted to knight of the Legion of Honour, commended in the army order with the award of the military valour cross with distinction, Warrant Officer Harold Vormezeele had his eulogy read in the Yard of hôtel national des Invalides, Paris, by the minister of Defence, Jean-Yves Le Drian.
HONOUR TO THE SOLDIER
"Your career bears testimony to your bravery as a fighter.
For fourteen years, you served France,
her fundamental interests and values, in countless situations,
by distinguishing yourself at several occasions
through your military strengths and human virtues".