Wednesday, November 11, 1998 Published at 18:07 GMT
Ireland's fallen saluted
Mary McAleese, left, and the Queen face the sun at Messines
Queen Elizabeth II joined the Irish President, Mary McAleese, to commemorate those Irishmen who gave their lives during World War I.
The Queen and President McAleese were representing the United Kingdom and the Irish Republic respectively at the service of remembrance near the Belgian town of Ypres.
Standing side by side, their presence together was widely seen as carrying as much symbolic significance for the present day as for the past.
She also said: "As this turbulent century draws to a close we, like Churchill and de Gaulle before us, must remain united in our determination to work together - and with others - to build a free and peaceful Europe for future generations."
The inauguration was the first public event undertaken jointly by a British monarch and the president of Ireland.
It was also the first meeting between the Queen and President McAleese since she came into power last year.
For King and country
More than 250,000 Irishmen fought in British regiments in World War I. Some were ironically fighting together against the Germans when the Easter Rising broke out back in Dublin in 1916.
In the battle for the Messines Ridge, Irish Catholics and Protestants from all over Ireland fought side by side against the common German enemy.
The battle was the precursor for the battle of Passchendaele and although it was considered a success, there were 24,000 British - mainly Irish - casualties.
Nineteen huge underground mines were detonated by the British Army, who then stormed the ridge overlooking Ypres from the south.
Bloodshed continued after armistice
Within months of the end of the war the British Army found itself fighting the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in Ireland and thousands died before the Irish Free State was founded in 1922.
Thousands died in Northern Ireland after "The Troubles" broke out in 1969.
The Irish Prime Minister, or Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern said the joint service on Wednesday was "a symbolic moment of reconciliation".
He said his government was very pleased to contribute political and financial support to the £1.5m peace tower at Messines Ridge.
It has been built so that the sun only illuminates the interior on the 11th of the 11th day of the 11th month - the anniversary of the armistice which ended the war.