The Netherlands will remember its war dead with the traditional wreath-laying ceremony in Amsterdam by the queen on Wednesday evening.
The annual Remembrance Day ceremony commemorates those who died in World War II and later conflicts and will also be attended by other members of the royal family, politicians and military officials.
Security will be tight on Dam square and its surroundings following last year’s disruption caused by a mentally-disturbed man who started screaming during the two minutes’ silence. Some 60 people were injured in the ensuing panic.
This year’s event has also been marred by a debate about the anti-Islam PVV after a former Labour MP wrote a newspaper opinion piece arguing the party should stay away from the ceremony because it had described May 4 as ‘the day we remember the victims of (national) socialism’.
By making the link between national socialism and socialism, the PVV is tarring the two movements with the same brush and ignoring the role socialists had in the resistance, Mei Li Vos pointed out in Trouw.
The ceremony organisers later issued a statement saying the PVV was welcome. It is important that everyone regardless of origin, conviction and age can unite to remember the dead, the committee said.
However, the committee did take note of the PVV statement with ‘some amazement’, the Telegraaf reported.
Ceremonies will also take place in many other places around the country, including former deportation camps and military graveyards.
On Thursday, the Netherlands celebrates Liberation Day.
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