The Netherlands fell silent at 8pm on Thursday evening as the country remembered the Dutch who died during World War II and in conflicts and peace keeping missions since then.
The ceremony began as king Willem-Alexander and queen Maxima laid a wreath at the war memorial on Dam square in the centre of Amsterdam.
After the two minutes silence, the children and grandchildren of different groups of victims – from relatives of resistance fighters to the military – laid wreaths at the monument.
Thousands of people had flocked to the centre of the Dutch capital for the ceremony, which was one of hundreds to take place across the country.
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Television presenter Dieuwertje Blok spoke at the Amsterdam ceremony about her grandfather, who only survived the war thanks to others who put ‘the greater good’ above their personal safety.
‘My grandparents and my mother only survived because of people like Jaap,’ she said. ‘Thea grew up without a father. But I am only here because of people like Jaap and Ans.’
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