Prime minister Mark Rutte kicked off an afternoon of celebration on Thursday by saying that peace and freedom cannot be taken for granted.
‘This Liberation Day, we feel what a privilege it is to live here in freedom… even more so than in other years,’ Rutte said on Twitter. ‘Just a short flight away, the people of Ukraine are fighting for their freedom.’
Today, the prime minister said, ‘we celebrate that we can live in freedom here in the Netherlands. And our thoughts are with the people in Ukraine and in all those other places in the world who are now fighting to be free. The Liberation Flame burns for them today too.’
Rutte was in Den Bosch where he lit the freedom flame at the first of the 14 official festivals taking place around the country. Hundreds of other events and ceremonies celebrating Liberation Day are underway as well.
— Canada in NL (@CanAmbNL) May 5, 2022
— Politie Basisteam Haarlem (@POL_Haarlem) May 5, 2022
#bevrijdingsdag | Vrijheidsmaaltijd
Vanmiddag hebben wij de vrijheid gevierd met een aantal bewoners die zich hiervoor hadden opgegeven tijdens de Vrijheidsmaaltijd. Tijdens deze lunch stonden we stil bij de bevrijding van Nederland in 1945 en dat we sindsdien in vrijheid leven. pic.twitter.com/jy8wvIObpe
— Pijnacker-Nootdorp (@PijnackerNootdp) May 5, 2022
Defence minister Kajsa Ollongren who attended the military parade in Wageningen, where the Nazis signed the capitulation order on May 5, 1945, also referred to Ukraine in her speech.
The war in Ukraine, she said, ‘is confronting us with the fact that war has never been away.’
‘Today we celebrate our freedom, in the knowledge that in Ukraine there is no music, but the sound of air raid sirens, rocket attacks and artillery fire. The people of Ukraine are fighting for their freedom and the values that bind us all,’ she said.
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