Thousands celebrate Liberation Day

The 63rd Liberation Day celebrations ended peacefully on Monday night with the traditional floating concert on Amsterdam’s Amstel river, attended by queen Beatrix and prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende.

The concert ended with a performance of the Vera Lynn World War II classic ‘We’ll meet again’, news agency ANP reported.
Concerts took place throughout the country, attracting an estimated 750,000 people.
Speaking earlier in Rotterdam, Balkenende reflected on this year’s theme – solidarity, the backbone of freedom.
‘Solidarity is freedom for each other,’ he was reported as saying. ‘If this norm, this value becomes watered down, you still have freedom, but it is a poor one. Real freedom is mutual freedom.’
In Wageningen, some 1,300 veterans from the Netherlands and abroad staged the traditional march-past in front of a crowd of up to 100,000 people. The procession also included tanks and other World War II military vehicles.
The celebrations, which come one day after Remembrance Day when the dead of all conflicts from World War II onwards are remembered, mark the end of the occupation of the Netherlands in 1945.

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