The Netherlands celebrates Liberation Day on Thursday, marking 66 years since Germany surrendered and the end of World War II.
Events started in Wageningen where the Liberation flame was lit shortly before midnight. Torches were then taken by runners to other fires all over the country.
Germany signed the capitulation documents in Wageningen on May 5, 1945. The south of the country had been liberated months earlier.
Later on Thursday, the university town will stage the traditional military parade, featuring veterans and their vehicles, a parachute drop and gun salute.
Fourteen formal Liberation Day festivals are being staged all over the country: one in each of 12 provinces and one in The Hague and Amsterdam. Queen Beatrix will attend the concert in the capital, which ends the celebrations.
Waylong, The Opposites, Moke and The Partysquad are this year’s freedom ambassadors and will be airlifted to as many of the concerts as possible.
Former foreign affairs minister and Nato secretary general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer is giving this year’s May 5 lecture which is supposed to bridge the Remembrance Day celebrations on May 4 and the Liberation Day events.
The theme of this year’s events is worldwide freedom.
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