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Royal attack: the end of an illusion

Friday 01 May 2009

The attack on the royal family during the Queen's Day celebrations means the day will never be the same again, according to editorials and comment in the Dutch newspapers.

'A national illusion died in Apeldoorn,' is the headline on a Volkskrant article on the attack. 'We will never see it like this again, a queen and her family, free and approachable... A national illusion died on April 30, 2009... the party of folklore - the only real national day of celebration - has been hit hard.'

'The collection of curiosities in the category 'only in the Netherlands' is one attraction poorer. Foreigners who are surprised by ministers who cycle to their offices, a prime minister eating a herring alone at the fish stall next to parliament - it is all gone,' the paper states.

Symbol of unity

The Financieele Dagblad says events in Apeldoorn were an 'attack on a vulnerable symbol of unity'.

'Queen's Day is the day when a deeply divided Netherlands celebrates that it still does know unity. An attack on that hits the fundamentals of our society,' the paper writes.

'The Netherlands is a land of minorities. It always has been,' it goes on. 'But alongside its relative prosperity and the necessary working together to protect it from destruction by the sea... there has been for centuries one factor which binds us - the Oranje dynasty.'

© DutchNews.nl



 

Readers' Comments

The good people of the world should not allow the actions of one madman to spoil liberty and freedom.

By Chris Ward, UK | 1 May 2009 9:28 AM

What happened in Apeldoorn was terrible; everybody is in shock. Koninginnedag (Queensday) will never be the same, but why continue this day anyway? Queen Beatrix will step aside and her son will be king. Do we need a Kingsday? We don't need Kings and Queens at all, let alone the Orange reign that costs us deer! The first of may can replace the day as a national day of celebraton, or (if Labourday is too heavy for the liberal mob) we can have the 5th of may which is liberation day already.

By dutchie | 1 May 2009 11:34 AM

Although it is a sad day when anyone is killed needlessly, it is a reality check for the Dutch to know that there are evil men/woman who would have no compunction whatsoever to kill, maime, or create serious bodily injury to others without any cause. We must stop believing that everybody is commonly good in this world and we need to take harsher methods to prosecute offenders when caughts. My condolences to the families who lost a love one.

By Harry Callahan | 1 May 2009 1:28 PM

The Dutch community in Winnipeg, Canada,is saddened by the events that unfolded yesterday. Our thoughts go out to the families of the people who lost their lives. Leve de Koningin.

By josie brendle | 1 May 2009 2:03 PM

Holland's many friends in the UK are solidly with with you at this difficult time. Don't let this destroy your wonderful, engaging and happy attitude to life. It is an inspiration around the world.

By David | 1 May 2009 3:39 PM

I wholeheartedly support Chris Ward's comment. Queen's Day is unmissable, especially for children. Keep it going!
Ingrid

By ingrid rivers | 1 May 2009 4:20 PM

In any democracy we are at the mercy of the individual who emotionally snaps and is pushed 'over the edge' by circumstances to do things he would normally never contemplate. The man was not necessarily evil, but sick. I am relieved for him that he did not survive as the weight of his guilt would have been hard to bear.
A sad and shocking day for Holland, for the royal family and for Apeldoorn but mostly for those who lost loved ones in such a dramatic and sudden way.

By Sheila Gazaleh-Weevers | 1 May 2009 4:46 PM

Long live the House of Orange!

By Sam | 1 May 2009 6:37 PM

The Dutch people and society are an inspiration to the World. Do not let this terrible event change your attitude to life.

By Andrew Milne | 1 May 2009 6:38 PM

I have many happy memories about Koninginnendag and feel very sad what happened, mij thoughts are with the families of the members who died.I am still proud to be Dutch Mij prayers are with them.

By Truus Fortune | 1 May 2009 6:42 PM

This is a sad time for the people of Holland, no doubt.

However, I feel compelled to comment on Sheila Gazaleh-Weevers' post.

Ms. Weevers said, "In any democracy we are at the mercy of the individual who emotionally snaps and is pushed 'over the edge' by circumstances to do things he would normally never contemplate. The man was not necessarily evil, but sick. I am relieved for him that he did not survive as the weight of his guilt would have been hard to bear."

There are, Ms. Weevers, people in this world who are truely evil. You have no basis for assuming that this individual was not one of them. He stated that it was his intent to kill your country's royal family, he failed; however, he might also have died with a smile on his face thinking about the damage he did do.

PLEASE, don't give people who do these things the benefit of the doubt. They don't deserve it, and it undermines the seriousness of their crime. There are evil people in this world, and he was one of them. I doubt that if this criminal had lived, he would be overwhelmed with guilt.

My heart goes out to the victims of his criminal act, not to the criminal.

Sincerely,

Truman A. Breithaupt
Gretna, Louisiana, USA

By Truman A. Breithaup | 1 May 2009 8:02 PM

The Netherlands should stop to be cute and phony. Be realistic and act like a mature country loaded with all sorts of people and dangerous attitudes.

By Tonnis Visser Hoek | 1 May 2009 8:12 PM

My condolences to the breaved.Like many millions the pain was also shared when hearing Queen Beatrix's express herself to the nation.
Queens day - what does it mean to me - a day of tradition, when the people join in unity with one voice = a voice of joy, freedom, no matter what colour or crede, one voice that speaks to the neighbour who is selling near you whom you may never see a again - but memories that last forever.The tourist who joins in whom you never even knew. Don't just look at it as Queen's day...look deeper into what valueit holds......should it continue....the future is in the palm of our hands...what are we going to with it?

By victoria smout | 1 May 2009 8:14 PM

My deepest sympathy to the family members of the victims of this horrible event. Possibly the motivation to explain this perpetrator will become known. Meantime Nederland, keep your Royal family and keep the house of Oranje safe ,the alternative is not that attractive. Gerard Ouwendyk ,Montreal, Canada since 1952

By Gerard Ouwendyk | 2 May 2009 4:49 AM

My deepest sympathy to the family members of the victims of this horrible event. Possibly the motivation to explain this perpetrator will become known. Meantime Nederland, keep your Royal family and keep the house of Oranje safe ,the alternative is not that attractive. Gerard Ouwendyk ,Montreal, Canada since 1952

By Gerard Ouwendyk | 2 May 2009 4:49 AM

Response on Truman A. Breithaupt's posting. Sir, you speak like a true American all vengeance, punishment, and "guilty until proven innocent." I find it sad that the Dutch people who visit this site have to read your words and know that you're an American.

You say to Sheila Gazaleh-Weever, "You have no basis for assuming that this individual was not one of them [an evil person]." As a Dutch citizen, Ms. Gazeleh-Weever shows her humanity by not assuming the worst of a person, a trait that Americans would benefit greatly from. In our frenzy of retribution in America we don't even care about the facts anymore; all we want is to "get even." Now you're going to say, Mr. Breithaupt, that this man admitted he intended to do this. He may have intended to but a police report of something a clearly unconscious man said isn't what I'd consider evidence.

But then who in America needs evidence anymore? All we want is to jump to a revenge conclusion as you have so aptly shown.

By Candyce Hawk, U.S.A. | 2 May 2009 5:57 AM

My deepest sympathy to the families and friends directly affected by the attack. I hope and pray such an attack never happens again. I love our queen, and I hope the Dutch will continue to think of others as well as they can, and to continue giving so many minorities the freedom to live in peace.

By Hermina Schaap | 2 May 2009 11:54 AM

Thanks for your comment Candyce.

By Sam | 2 May 2009 1:16 PM

Canada has been a friend to the Dutch and The Netherlands for a long time, so as a Canadian, I was sad to hear of this sensless tragedy, do not let it mar a holiday, and Long Live the Queen!

By Bob | 5 May 2009 12:31 AM

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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